WinCo Taps Solar Power for Lighting
WinCo Foods, LLC, in its continuing effort to embrace sustainable, efficient, environmentally sound technologies that support its mission to continue to be the area supermarket low price leader has recently installed six new solar powered light poles on the perimeter of the parking area at its downtown Boise, Idaho store.
The solar panels that power the LEDs are actually integrated as a part of the pole fixture itself. Preliminary tests and estimates indicate that these six poles will save nearly 24,000 kilowatt hours per year – the equivalent of burning 237,000 one hundred watt light bulbs for an hour, according to WinCo. They will also save nearly 16,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year – the equivalent of burning 880 gallons of gasoline or put in other terms, the equivalent of planting roughly 200 new trees. An electronic display panel inside the entrance to the store allows customers to see data illustrating the impact these new lighting fixtures are making on the store's energy usage.
Excess electricity produced by the light fixtures will be fed back into the store, thus reducing the amount of electricity drawn from the grid for other store energy needs. WinCo expects that this test at its Boise store will lead to utilizing this technology exclusively at new stores and converting from the older pressurized sodium and metal halide light fixtures at its existing stores.
WinCo Foods' ongoing efforts to reduce its energy usage and carbon footprint has resulted in a top 10 ranking from Idaho Power Company, which noted that WinCo has saved 2,062,791 kWh during 2010 in Idaho alone.
Boise, Idaho-based WinCo Foods operates 79 stores and four distribution centers in the states of Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California, Oregon and Utah.