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The Star Market at Chestnut Hill in Newton, Mass., scheduled to reopen next summer, will be a breakthrough sustainability prototype, as the first New England supermarket to employ fuel cell electricity, LED lighting, and glycol/carbon dioxide refrigeration.
"This appears to be the first time in Massachusetts that high-efficiency lighting, appliance, and other advanced energy technologies have been applied to a supermarket wall-to-wall, and I hope many other stores will follow suit," confirmed Ian Bowles, the state's Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
"We are committed to environmental stewardship and sustainable operations, and will continually work to use energy more efficiently and reduce waste," noted Larry Wahlstrom president Star Market and sister banner Shaw's, both of them owned by Supervalu. "The new Star Market is a cutting-edge supermarket that uses innovative technology that's sustainable."
The location is a two-story building, with the supermarket located on the second floor, Haley Meyer, spokeswoman for Supervalu, told Progressive Grocer. "Downstairs will contain offices and prep areas," Meyer added. "The new building's second-floor area is 41,000 square feet. The new building's total area is 59,000 square feet."
Features of the newly renovated store will include:
-- A virtually pollution-free fuel cell that employs natural gas and whose byproducts are water and heat energy. By using the fuel cell, the store is guaranteed power at all times for refrigeration, HVAC, elevators, cash registers, and lighting. By providing nearly all the power for the location, the fuel cell doesn't tax the public power grid.
--LED (light-emitting diode) lighting in the entire store, both inside and out, which Star Markets touts as a first for New England, and possibly the United States. The LEDs are expected to last eight to 10 years, as opposed to conventional lighting, which lasts eight to 18 months, and lower energy usage by 50 percent to 65 percent.
-- Glycol heat exchange fluids for the refrigeration systems (for cooler cases, such as dairy) and carbon dioxide (for the colder freezer cases). Using glycol and carbon dioxide will mean a reduction in refrigerant charge of as much as 90 percent.
"In building the new Chestnut Hill Star Market, we have two goals -- to create the best possible supermarket to serve our customers, and to create a building that will serve as a leader in sustainability," said Wahlstrom. "We believe that this store will be a prototype to emulate."
Shaw's, Osco, and Star Market comprise a division of Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Supervalu, Inc. Throughout the six New England states, there are more than 200 Shaw's, Osco, and Star Market stores employing about 28,000 associates.