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On Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22, West Sacramento, Calif.-based Raley’s will open its greenest store yet in Petaluma, Calif. The location has already earned Gold-Level certification through the EPA’s GreenChill Partnership.
“Raley’s is committed to the principles of sustainability: reduce, reuse and recycle,” said Raley’s president and CEO Bill Coyne. “Our new Petaluma Raley’s store is a shining example of our environmentally friendly design, construction and maintenance practices.”
In January 2009, Raley's joined the EPA's GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership to fight climate change and protect the earth’s ozone layer, and was certified because of the green refrigeration technology installed in the new store. The Petaluma store is the first and only retailer in California -- and just the second in the nation -- to achieve GreenChill’s highest honor.
“Although our new store will raise the bar for us, it’s not our first effort at being green,” said Ed Estberg, Raley’s senior director of facilities. “Years ago, Raley’s adopted a corporate philosophy to improve and enhance the environment with little or no fiscal impact on our customers -- and we are proud of our record of delivering on that commitment.”
The store was designed to operate at high efficiency levels by harnessing the power of natural elements like sunlight, water and air; decreasing a significant amount of air emissions; and savings thousands of gallons of water each month.
Keilly Witman with the Stratospheric Protection Division of the EPA will be on-site at the store’s grand opening ceremony to present the award to Raley’s executives as they officially declare the store open for business.
Raley’s is one of just a handful of retailers across the nation to use glycol coolants and CO2 as secondary coolants to regulate temperatures and decrease refrigerant use. By applying secondary coolants to medium- and high-temperature fixtures and CO2 for low-temperature fixtures, the company uses much smaller amounts of refrigerant. Nearly 3,000 pounds of refrigerant is a typical draw for operating systems -- the new store only requires 1,800 pounds of refrigerant, a 40 percent reduction. These systems are contained in the same location and will have a much lower leak rate, helping protect the environment by significantly reducing the potential to release greenhouse gases.
Developed internally, a high-efficiency Dual Medium Condenser was installed at the Petaluma site, saving Raley’s 85,000 gallons of water per month (an 85 percent reduction in condenser water usage), when compared to normal evaporative condenser applications that take 100,000 gallons per month, according to the grocer. With the Petaluma store and three others in operation, the company is saving a total of 340,000 gallons of water per month. Using a dual-medium condenser allows Raley’s to employ the power of two natural elements -- water and air -- moving away from evaporative condensers and saving electricity in the process.
The combination of ceiling skylights (natural, solar light reduces power reliance and usage) and induction lighting (bulbs that last five times as long as fluorescent lights) should last 27 years without requiring replacements -- and Raley’s said it is the only grocery chain to combine these elements in the same site. Photo sensors also determine when lights shut on or off, based on the amount of solar light streaming through the skylights, to minimize energy use.
West Sacramento, Calif.-based Raley's operates the Raley's, Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods and Food Source banners in northern California and Nevada.