SAN DIEGO — An Albertsons supermarket set to open Wednesday in the Clairemont community here will be one of the first in California to generate nearly 90% of its electricity with a 400-kilowatt fuel cell from UTC Power, South Windsor, Conn.
The project is estimated to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 478 metric tons each year compared with California “non-baseload” power plants, said UTC Power, adding that the annual nitrogen oxide emissions reduction is equal to removing 82 cars from the roadways per year.
“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, in a statement. “With the assistance of UTC Power’s fuel cell, it’s our first store that significantly reduces its burden on the power grid.”
Byproduct heat from the fuel cell process will be captured and used to warm water used in the store, 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%, nearly twice the efficiency of the U.S. electrical grid.
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 food spoilage and ensure a reliable food supply in emergency situations.
Other environmentally focused amenities situated throughout the store include: LED lighting in the dairy and frozen food doors that reduce energy consumption by more than 50% to 65%; photo sensors in 33 skylights that measure the amount of daylight and adjust the electric light levels accordingly; 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%; and water-saving faucets and fixtures installed in the restrooms to reduce water use by over 45%.