A new 60,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market under construction in Dedham, Massachusetts will generate most of its energy from a 400 kW fuel cell from UTC Power. UTC Power is based in Windsor, Connecticut and focuses on “developing and producing fuel cells for on-site power at buildings and for transportation applications.” It is a company of United Technologies Corp.
Nearly 100 percent of the store’s hot water and around 90% of its electricity needs will be met using fuel cell technology. This is actually the second store where Whole Foods has installed an on-site fuel cell generator. Its Glastonbury, Connecticut store became the first supermarket in the world to generate most of its power with a fuel cell in March of last year.
Producing electricity, heat, and water as by products of a hydrogen and oxygen reaction, fuel cells meet the strictest U.S. emission standards. According to this article, “using the fuel cell instead of energy from a conventional power plant has carbon dioxide-mitigating benefits equal to planting more than 175 acres of trees and reductions in nitrogen oxide emissions equal to removing more than 90 cars from the roadways per year.” The fuel cell is “also capable of providing standby power if there’s a grid failure [which will] allow the store to operate without disruption and to avoid costly food spoilage.”
The fuel cell project was made possible in part through a large grant from the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust Large Onsite Renewables Initiative (LORI).