The new Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFMI) slated to open in Dedham, Mass., this fall will be the first supermarket in Massachusetts to generate approximately 90% of its power on-site with a 400 kilowatt (kW) fuel cell from UTC Power. UTC Power is a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company headquartered in Connecticut.
The new 60,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market will generate approximately 90% of its electricity and nearly 100% of its hot water using fuel cell technology. This will be the second fuel cell system installed by Whole Foods Market as an on-site power source. In March of 2008, Whole Foods Market became the first supermarket in the world to generate most of its power with a fuel cell, installing a 200 kW UTC Power unit at its Glastonbury, Conn., store.
Fuel cells are one of the cleanest energy-generation sources available in the world and meet the strictest U.S. emission standards. Hydrogen and oxygen are combined in an electrochemical process to produce electricity, heat and water.
More than half of the energy potential in traditional power plants is lost to the atmosphere as waste heat or in line transmission losses. In contrast, the 400 kW UTC Power fuel cell system captures its waste energy for local cooling and heating.
UTC Power will install, own, operate and maintain the PureCell® Model 400 fuel cell system, which is also capable of providing standby power if there’s a grid failure to allow the store to operate without disruption and to avoid costly food spoilage.
The fuel cell project was approved for a $400,000 grant from the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust Large Onsite Renewables Initiative (LORI), which is a program that awards grants for feasibility studies as well as design and construction projects for qualifying renewable energy systems greater than 10 kW.