UNFI Installs Biggest Solar Electric System in New England

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UNFI Installs Biggest Solar Electric System in New England

DAYVILLE, Conn. -- United Natural Foods, Inc. here, along with Solar Works, Inc., the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF), and several Connecticut politicians, will dedicate the installation of the largest solar electric system in New England on Dec. 13.

The 550-kilowatt STC solar photovoltaic system, installed at UNFI's distribution facility in Dayville, is expected to generate about 600,000 kilowatt-hours of clean energy a year, enough to power over 67 typical New England homes for 12 months. The system output will avoid over 14 million pounds (over 6,350 metric tons) of carbon dioxide over the system's 25-year lifespan.

United Natural Foods said it has formed a partnership with the CCEF a ratepayer fund administered by Rocky Hill-based Connecticut Innovations, Inc. A $1.9 million grant from the fund is provided through the fund's "On-Site Renewable Distributed Generation Program."

The development and installation of the solar electric system has been managed by Boston-based Solar Works, Inc., a renewable energy systems integrator in the northeast United States with over 800 solar energy installations.

The Dayville facility is both the company's corporate headquarters and a regional distribution center in its nationwide distribution network. The facility employs over 500 people and serves customers in both the New England area and New York. According to the company, UNFI has the largest warehouse capacity of any distributor in the natural product industry and, with the recent addition of a Sarasota, Fla. location, has over 3.8 million square feet of space at 17 distribution centers nationwide.

UNFI carries and distributes more than 40,000 products to over 17,000 customers nationwide. The company serves a wide variety of retail formats, including conventional supermarket chains, natural product superstores, independent retail operators, and the foodservice channel.