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Community-based independent grocer Berkeley Bowl supermarket yesterday opened a new solar-powered store that uses 636 solar panels to generate the electricity needed to run the 140,000-square-foot facility.
The new store, called Berkeley Bowl West, worked with local green design firm Sun Light & Power on the project. The Sharp 175 PV panels installed by Sun Light & Power are expected to generate 149,633 kilowatt-hours every year and eliminate 179,560 pounds of carbon dioxide that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere to power a facility of its size.
The building’s energy requirements include lighting and extensive power demands from refrigeration and other electrical needs. Some of this energy usage is also related to a new emphasis on ready-to-eat foods, including a second-floor kitchen with a flash freezer.
The store, which employs 150 associates, features an open floor plan for a warehouse-like feel, and includes a small wine-tasting bar, a prep kitchen, the Community Center café, a warehouse and offices.
As with its sister store, The Berkeley Bowl, the new location offers a wide selection of exotic produce and fruits, including 25 bins of stone fruit, with nearly a quarter of the produce hailing from organic farms.