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A new Supervalu-owned Albertsons supermarket in the San Diego community of Clairemont will be one of the first in California to generate nearly 90 percent of the electricity it needs from a 400-kilowatt fuel cell.
The new 55,000-square-foot environmentally friendly Albertsons store, which opens September 1, will use fuel cell equipment from South Windsor, Conn.-based UTC Power, a United Technologies Corp. company.
“When it comes to minimizing our environmental footprint, the Clairemont store is a tremendous achievement for us,” noted Albertsons director of environmental stewardship Rick Crandall. “With the assistance of UTC Power’s fuel cell, it’s our first store that significantly reduces its burden on the power grid.”
Fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen in an electrochemical process to produce electricity, heat, and water; no fossil fuel is burned. The project is estimated to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 478 metric tons each year compared to California non-baseload powerplants. The annual nitrogen oxide emissions reduction is equal to removing 82 cars from the roadways per year, according to UTC Power.
Albertsons will capture byproduct heat from the fuel cell process and use it to warm water used in the store, to heat the store when necessary, and to power a chiller to help cool the refrigerated food, resulting in an overall energy efficiency of approximately 60 percent, nearly twice the efficiency of the U.S. electrical grid.
Additionallly, if there’s a power outage within the area, the store will be able to operate without disruption because electricity is generated on-site by the fuel cell. This will allow Albertsons to avoid costly food spoilage and ensure a reliable food supply in emergency situations.
Other environmentally focused amenities situated throughout the Albertsons Clairemont store include:
- Efficient LED lighting in the dairy and frozen food doors that reduce energy consumption by more than 50 to 65 percent.
- Photo sensors in 33 skylights measure the amount of day light from the outdoor sky and adjust the electric light levels accordingly, saving energy
- Night curtains that are pulled over all open cold cases in the evening to seal in the cool air, and reduce spoilage and energy costs by up to 25 percen
- Water-saving faucets and fixtures installed in the restrooms to reduce the amount of water used by over 45 percent
Albertsons operates 463 Albertsons and Lucky supermarkets in Southern California, Southern Nevada, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, and is part of the Supervalu family of companies. Supervalu serves customers across the United States through a network of approximately 4,290 stores composed of approximately 1,200 traditional and premium stores, including 850 in-store pharmacies; 1,180 hard discount Save-A-Lot stores, of which 860 are operated by licensee owners; and 1,910 independent stores serviced primarily by the company’s traditional food distribution business.