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Kroger Banner Goes on Offense to Avoid Power Outages

Ralphs incorporates instantaneous backup energy storage solution at California distribution center
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Ralphs in L.A.
Ralphs will use e2Cos.’ R3Di system to improve power reliability at its Paramount, Calif., distribution center that serves stores across Los Angeles County.

In 2023 and beyond, business survival will require pivoting at lightning speed and rapidly adjusting to whatever new crisis comes our way. That’s why The Kroger Co. will begin using e2Cos.’ R3Di system (pronounced “Ready”) to improve power quality for its Ralphs distribution center in Paramount, Calif., which serves stores across Los Angeles County.

The e2Cos.’ patented R3Di system is an on-site instantaneous backup energy storage solution, qualified to sustain long-duration outages. This system has the flexibility to serve as primary or standby backup power, providing a foundational building block for many future energy projects. 

[Read more: "POLL: Are You Ready for the Next Crisis?"]

Project leader Palm Energy LLC, a subsidiary of e2Cos., identified the R3Di solution for the ongoing power fluctuations at the Ralphs distribution center. These disruptions and power quality issues are causing sensitive equipment disruptions, resulting in significant downtime, and affecting operational efficiency. Once the 1-megawatt R3Di system is installed, it will provide continuous conditioned power and instantaneous load pickup to keep equipment running seamlessly.

“The R3Di system will integrate with the distribution center’s existing infrastructure, including two diesel generators, on-site solar panels and the power grid, to solve these intermittent power issues,” said Steve Moffitt, president for Bonita Springs, Fla.-based Palm Energy.

“Kroger is a true leader in retail innovation, from its operations to its commitment to the communities it serves and to the environment,” added Moffitt. “We’re proud to find the right solution that continues to support Kroger’s commitment to deliver reliable food supply chain for Ralphs’ grocery stores.”

The installation at the distribution center is expected to be complete by early summer 2023. Once the installation is complete, e2Cos. and Palm Energy will continue to monitor and maintain the R3Di system to ensure conditioned, reliable and resilient on-site power.

Whether intentional or weather-related, blackouts are a real threat to food retailers’ operations. In December 2022, retailers in Moore County, N.C., faced a targeted attack on electrical substations that sapped power to the area. Following gunshot damage that crippled the substation and caused widespread multiday outages affecting more than 35,000 utility customers, local grocers had to contend with keeping their own operations running while still meeting the needs of their customers and employees.

Serving 60 million households annually nationwide through a digital shopping experience, and almost 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, including Ralphs, Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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