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Brooklyn Whole Foods Wows With Solar, Wind, EV Chargers, Greenhouse and More

The outside of the newly opened Whole Foods on Brooklyn, NY's Gowanus Canal contains more examples of renewable energy and efficiency than some companies have throughout their entire operations.

Solar and wind energy work together to completely power two Skypump electric vehicle charging stations and 19 LED streetlights. The Sanya SLSTM streetlights, by New York, NY-based Urban Green Energy (UGE), would remain operational during regional outages because of their natural power sources. 

UGE says the streetlights and charging stations both produce more energy than they require, reducing energy consumption at the supermarket.

Solar carports, electric vehicle chargers, wind turbines and solar panels are all found at the new Whole Foods location in Brooklyn, NY. Photo credit: Urban Green Energy

"Taking advantage of the smart grid regulations available in New York State, UGE's power systems contribute to the store's microgrid—feeding energy to the electrical grid and taking only when needed," the company said in a statement

A 324-kilowatt (kW) solar array covers much of the parking lot and is expected to offset nearly 30 percent of the 56,000-square-foot building's electricity use, or 380,400 kW hours from the grid, Earth Techling estimates. Additionally, a 157-kW combined heat and power system can provide heating and chilled water throughout the year and during grid failures.

Whole Foods full expects the store to garner LEED Platinum certification.

“We’re about 60 percent more efficient than any other grocery store in the U.S.," according to a statement from Whole Foods' Green Mission Team." We’re going to be saving about 2.5 million kWh a year, which is equivalent to taking about 360 cars off the road annually."

The Greenhouse, still in construction, will be complete in early 2014. Photo credit: Whole Foods on Facebook

The location, which also has solar carports, features a 20,000-square-foot rooftop hydroponic greenhouse to be run by Brooklyn-based Gotham Greens in 2014. The company will provide fresh vegetables throughout the year.

The store is on the Gowanus Canal, where the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will attempt to reverse the trend of "more than 150 years of industrial waste, storm water runoff and sewer overflows" with a $506 million cleanup plan announced in September.

UGE has installed renewable-powered off-grid lighting systems in 80 countries for various Fortune 100 companies.

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