Conn. Whole Foods Latest to Generate Clean Power On-site

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Conn. Whole Foods Latest to Generate Clean Power On-site


A new Whole Foods Market store in Fairfield, Conn., has become the natural food retailer’s fourth in the United States and the second in the state to install UTC Power's PureCell System Model 400 to provide clean, reliable on-site power. The 400-kilowatt fuel cell system will generate 90 percent of the store's electricity needs, and its byproduct thermal energy will be used for store heating, cooling and refrigeration.

UTC Power, a United Technologies Corp. company, today announced that

“UTC Power has been a great local partner in implementing our fuel cell to help us reduce our environmental impact in the Fairfield community,” said Tristam Coffin, green mission specialist for the Austin, Texas-based grocer’s Northeast region.

The installation of the fuel cell at the Fairfield store will be supported by a grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) through its On-Site Renewable Distributed Generation Program.

“This fuel cell project demonstrates Whole Foods Market's continued commitment to sustainability by using smarter and more efficient sources of energy in our local communities,” noted Bryan Garcia, president of Rocky Hill-based CCEF. “Because supermarkets consume a lot of heat and electricity, they provide a great application for UTC Power’s fuel cells. By utilizing both the thermal and power attributes of fuel cells, energy is used more efficiently and therefore contributes to the bottom line of the company.”

Employing the fuel cell, the Fairfield store will prevent the release of more than 847 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of planting more than 85 acres of trees. The reductions in nitrogen oxide emissions compared with those of a conventional power plant are equal to the environmental benefit of taking more than 100 cars off the road. Along with lower greenhouse gas emissions, the PureCell System will enable Whole Foods to save almost 3.5 million gallons of water yearly. Unlike central generation and other fuel cell technologies, the PureCell System operates in water balance, so there’s no consumption or discharge of water during its operation.

Additionally, in comparison with typical central generation and other fuel cell offerings, the vendor’s PureCell System offers lower energy costs, reduced emissions, an industry-leading 90 percent system efficiency, 10-year cell stack durability and 20-year product life.

“It is truly rewarding to have Whole Foods Market as a repeat customer and to know our fuel cell technology is fulfilling our customer's energy needs and helping them achieve their sustainability goals,” observed Neal Montany, director of stationary fuel cell business at South Windsor, Conn.-based UTC Power, which is part of United Technologies Corp.

A 200-kilowatt UTC Power fuel cell has powered a Whole Foods store in Glastonbury, Conn., since March 2008, and the vendor’s 400-kilowatt fuel cell is currently providing electricity, heat and hot water for Whole Foods locations in Dedham, Mass., and San Jose, Calif.