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Price Chopper Uses Fuel Cell Power

chopperA 400-kilowatt fuel cell is providing most of the electricity for a Price Chopper supermarket location in Albany, N.Y., reports the New York Times.

The fuel cell uses natural gas to produce hydrogen, which is combined with oxygen, to create electricity, water and heat. The fuel cell was made by UTC Power.

In the case of a blackout, the fuel cell would allow the supermarket to operate off the grid.

A spokesman for Price Chopper said it began investigating the use of fuel cells after electricity prices spiked in 2007.

The deal benefited from an $800,000 grant from New York, which was funneled to UTC, which is leasing the fuel cell to Price Chopper.

The chain plans to install another fuel cell at an undisclosed location.

Price Chopper is not the first supermarket to try out fuel cell power.

Whole Foods has one in Glastonbury, Conn.

Supervalu is testing one.

And Wegmans is putting one in at a distribution center.

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