Grocery Store Powered By Fuel Cell

When you think of environmentally-friendly grocery stores, chances are, the Whole Foods or Wild Oats chains come to mind more readily than Albertsons. But the major mainstream retailer appears to be making real eco-strides with the recent announcement that its new store in the San Diego community of Clairemont is set to generate 90% of its energy using squeaky clean and green hydrogen, courtesy of UTC Power.

This 400-kilowatt fuel cell will power the new 55,000-square-foot Albertsons store at 5950 Balboa Ave. (at Genesee) by  combining hydrogen and oxygen in an electrochemical process to produce electricity, heat and water with no fossil fuels involved. Hydrogen fuel cells are currently one of the cleanest and quietest energy-generation sources on the planet, meeting and exceeding the strictest U.S. emissions standards.

Albertsons fuel cell

image via Wikipedia

The project is projected to cut the carbon dioxide emissions associated with a similar-sized store by 478 metric tons each year, with a reduction in annual nitrogen oxide emissions equivalent to removing 82 cars from the road per year. This store is set to be the first grocery store in California to approach the net-zero point.

“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.”

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.