Whole Foods Market Lights the Way with Solar Power

Mar 06, 2002
George Anderson

Whole Foods Market, Inc., is the nation’s first major food retailer to introduce solar energy as its primary lighting power source. The natural and organic supermarket teamed up with PowerLight Corporation and Nextek Power Systems to create an integrated on-site solar electric power and lighting system, which was recently installed at the Whole Foods Market store in Berkeley, Calif., under the management of Princeton Energy Systems.

Whole Foods Market’s new solar electrical system is expected to create significant economic and environmental benefits. The system is projected to produce and save more than one million kilowatt hours over 25 years. This would avoid more than 1,060 tons of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of removing 285 cars from the roadways.

Moderator Comment: Which of the alternatives to petroleum-based energy sources is likely to gain widespread acceptance by businesses and individuals?

It is logical, based on its brand positioning, that Whole Foods would take a leadership role in developing alternative energy sources for its stores. Good news for the environment and potentially national security, as well. Because of the on-going problems in the Middle East and elsewhere, finding sustainable, economical and environmentally friendly fuel sources is more important than ever.

In a joint release from the companies involved, David McManus of Princeton Energy Systems said, “Solar-powered DC lighting systems are the future for cost-effective retail lighting solutions.” When will it be the present? [George Anderson – Moderator]

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