Stop&Shop Takes Next Step in Grocery Store Innovation

The Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. took a significant step in retail store innovation: a special dedication of a 400 kilowatt fuel cell – a first for the supermarket chain – at its store on Torringford Street in East Torrington, Conn.

The fuel cell, a UTC Power PureCell® System Model 400, was supported with a grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund's On-Site Renewable Distributed Generation Program and is the first fuel cell utilized by the Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. It is expected to generate over 90 percent of the store's electric energy.

"In our commitment to be a sustainable company, we continually look for new innovations and technologies that help us build more energy efficient stores," said Jihad Rizkallah, vice president of store planning for Stop & Shop. "The fuel cell technology is the latest step we've taken to ensure we're doing everything we can to lower our impact to the environment in each community we serve."

Since the fuel cell was commissioned in June of last year, it has produced over 1.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, accounting for 95 percent of the store's total electric energy requirements. This, coupled with the use of the thermal energy produced by the fuel cell, has reduced the total electric and natural gas utility bills for the store by roughly 50 percent.

By generating most of its power on site, Stop & Shop is able to reduce the burden on the local power grid and its impact on the environment. The fuel cell operates without fossil fuel combustion which in turn makes electricity production virtually pollution-free. Highlights:

  • Stop & Shop anticipates it will prevent the release of more than 523 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually – the equivalent of planting more than 120 acres of trees.
  • The annual nitrogen oxide emissions reduction will be equivalent to removing 88 cars from roadways.
  • Designed to operate in water-balance, with no consumption or discharge of water under normal operations, the fuel cell at the Torrington Stop & Shop store will save 3.5 million gallons of water compared to central utility generated electricity.

"Stop & Shop did an outstanding job integrating this fuel cell into its new, energy-efficient supermarket in Torrington and maximizing the energy attributes of the fuel cell," said Dale Hedman, acting president of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. "The store will not only benefit from electricity produced by the fuel cell but will also benefit from the fuel cell's waste heat, which will be used for heating, cooling and refrigeration."

The fuel cell at Stop & Shop in Torrington, Conn., joins a growing fleet of UTC Power's PureCell® System Model 400 units. In 2010, UTC Power installed dozens of its stationary fuel cells at locations in California, Connecticut, New York, Wisconsin and South Korea. As UTC Power continues to expand its portfolio of fuel cell partners and implementations, the company recently completed a major upgrade to its production facility in South Windsor, Conn., to accommodate an increase in orders from customers.

Stop & Shop Sustainability Milestones – A History of Store Innovation

  • November 2001 – Stop & Shop opens first energy efficient store in Foxboro, Mass., also known as the Low Energy Super Store, or LESS.
  • August 2007 – Stop & Shop opens first Energy Star® store in Southbury, Conn., which utilizes approximately 35 percent less energy than average buildings.
  • December 2008 Stop & Shop installs first photovoltaic (solar panels) system at its Fairfield, Conn., store. The system generates around 8 percent of the store's electricity needs.
  • 2009 – Stop & Shop has over 50 LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified stores. In the future, all new stores will be designed and built to meet the LEED NC (new construction) design and construction standards for new construction by the U.S. Green Building Council. Energy saving features include:
    • White roof to reflect the sunlight and reduce the heat gains in the store, requiring less energy for space cooling in the summertime
    • Skylights to harvest daylight to reduce the electricity consumption during peak daylight hours
    • LED lighting in many areas of the store, including overhead track lights, spotlights on specialty areas and displays, exterior store signs and in the frozen food case
  • May 2010 – Stop & Shop installs photovoltaic systems in three stores in Dedham, Dorchester, and Somerville, Mass. Following in July 2010, the company completes the installation of additional photovoltaic systems in four stores in Aberdeen, Franklin Park, Somerset, and Whiting, N.J. These systems generate around 8 percent of stores' electricity needs.
  • June 2010 – Through support of a grant from Connecticut Clean Energy Fund's On-Site Renewable Distributed Generation Program, Stop & Shop installs a UTC Power PureCell® System Model 400 in its second Torrington, Conn., store. The fuel cell – a first of its kind for the company – is expected to generate over 90 percent of the store's energy.
  • December 2010 – Stop & Shop opens second store in West Hartford, Conn., that includes refrigeration systems which utilize a natural refrigerant to help reduce the store's carbon footprint by an equivalent of 500 tons of CO2 per year. The West Hartford Stop & Shop is the first supermarket in the state of Connecticut operating with this technology.