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The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company has installed a 400 kilowatt fuel cell at its Torrington, Conn. store – the first of its kind for the chain -- and expects it to generate more than 90 percent of the store’s electrical power.
The fuel cell, a UTC Power PureCell System Model 400, was supported with a grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund's On-Site Renewable Distributed Generation Program. "In our commitment to be a sustainable company, we continually look for new innovations and technologies that help us build more energy efficient stores," said Jihad Rizkallah, VP of store planning for Stop & Shop. "The fuel cell technology is the latest step we've taken to ensure we're doing everything we can to lower our impact to the environment in each community we serve."
Since the fuel cell was commissioned last June, it has produced more than 1.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, accounting for more than 90 percent of the store's total electric energy requirements. This, coupled with the use of the thermal energy produced by the fuel cell, has reduced the total electric and natural gas utility bills for the store by roughly 50 percent.
By generating most of its power on site, Stop & Shop is able to reduce the burden on the local power grid and its impact on the environment. The fuel cell operates without fossil fuel combustion which in turn makes this means of electricity production virtually pollution-free.
Among the expected benefits are:
- Stop & Shop anticipates it will prevent the release of more than 523 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually – the equivalent of planting more than 120 acres of trees.
- The annual nitrogen oxide emissions reduction will be equivalent to removing 88 cars from roadways.
- Designed to operate in water-balance, with no consumption or discharge of water under normal operations, the fuel cell at the Torrington Stop & Shop store will save 3.5 million gallons of water compared to central utility generated electricity.
"Stop & Shop did an outstanding job integrating this fuel cell into its new, energy-efficient supermarket in Torrington and maximizing the energy attributes of the fuel cell," said Dale Hedman, acting president of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. "The store will not only benefit from electricity produced by the fuel cell but will also benefit from the fuel cell's waste heat, which will be used for heating, cooling and refrigeration."
Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop operates more than 390 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, and New Jersey. It’s a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and EPA's Smart Way program; has been awarded LEED (EB) certifications for 50 of its existing stores; and has been recognized by the EPA for the superior energy management of its stores. Stop & Shop is an Ahold company.