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Big Y advances its sustainability efforts with the completion of a new solar photovoltaic system located behind its Stafford Springs, Conn., store. The new system uses 2,150 individual solar modules to generate more than 850,000 kilowatt-hours of clean electricity per year, enough energy to power 100 homes, the company said. A television in the store’s café allows employees and customers to see the system in action.
It's the first solar installation for the company in Connecticut, but two stores in Massachusetts have been using rooftop solar panels since June 2012 to help offset energy use and the corporate support/distribution center converted to solar power in May 2013.
The Stafford Springs solar installation is just the latest in Big Y’s sustainability efforts; all 61 stores recycle cardboard, film plastics and paper and 80 percent of the Massachusetts locations have implemented composting programs. Other systems to control lighting, cooling and refrigeration have helped the chain save more than 800,000 kilowatt-hours of energy per year. Six locations also offer free recharging stations for electric cars.
"Saving resources is important to us as a company – not only is it good business, but it’s simply the right thing to do. I am proud to say that Big Y has been committed to conserving energy and reducing waste for over 40 years,” said Gary Kuchyt, Big Y’s manager of energy and sustainability.