UTC Power PureCell system
The world's largest retailer of natural and organic foods and America's first certified organic groceris the first supermarket to generate most of its power on-site with a fuel cell.
Whole Foods Powers Store With Fuel Cell
A new Whole Foods Market in Glastonbury, Connecticut is the first supermarket to generate most of its power on-site with a fuel cell.
"We are always looking to reduce our impact on the environment," said Kathy Loftus, Global Leader, Sustainable Engineering, Maintenance and Energy for Whole Foods Market. "Together with UTC Power and the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, we've designed a combined cooling, heating and power system for our new Glastonbury store using a quiet, highly energy-efficient fuel cell that will reduce our carbon footprint dramatically."
The store's fuel cell was eligible for an Onsite Renewable Energy grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF). The CCEF promotes, develops and invests in clean energy sources for sustainable energy for the benefit of Connecticut ratepayers. Whole Foods received a $940,000 grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund to be used toward the purchase of the fuel cell, AP reports.
The new 46,000-square-foot store will generate 50 percent of the electricity and heat and nearly 100 percent of the hot water needed to operate the store from the UTC* Power fuel cell.
More than half of the energy potential in traditional power plants is lost to the atmosphere as waste heat or in line transmission losses. In contrast, the fuel cell system captures its exhaust energy for local cooling and heating. The harnessed exhaust energy at the store will cool refrigeration cases year-round and heat the store in the winter months.
The fuel cell at Whole Foods can provide 200 kilowatts of power in the event of a grid failure, which would allow the supermarket to operate without disruption providing enhanced energy security ensuring a reliable food supply for customers and protect against costly food spoilage if the power grid goes down.
Fuel cells are one of the cleanest and quietest power-generating technologies in the world today. Also highly efficient and virtually pollution-free, fuel cells produce electricity, heat and water electrochemically, meaning there is no combustion.
Whole Foods Market's use of a fuel cell system versus a conventional power plant has carbon dioxide-mitigating benefits equal to planting more than 21 acres of forest, the companies said, and reductions in nitrogen oxide emissions equal to removing 100 cars from the roadways per year.
*UTC Power is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.