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Albertsons Activates Solar Panels on Three Stores

Albertsons announced it has activated solar rooftop power systems at three of its stores in Carlsbad, Oceanside and Alpine, California, according to a company press release.

The system is designed to produce 12 million kilowatt hours of energy over the next 20 years, enough to power more than 1,100 U.S. homes for a year. The system will offset more than 13 million pounds of carbon dioxide over that time, the equivalent of taking 1,300 cars off the road for the same period.

The system was financed and will be monitored and maintained by SunEdison, a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials, which has also been working with Staples, Procter & Gamble, and Owens Corning to provide solar power systems for the roofs of their facilities. According to the announcement, the installation required no upfront capital costs by Albertsons. SunEdison is the largest solar services provider in North America. REC Solar built the installation.

Albertsons is a subsidiary of SuperValu, Inc., one of the largest operators of grocery stores in the country. SuperValu said SunEdison will purchase the energy produced to offset their demand from the grid for 20 years. The solar power plants are the first activated between the two companies, which said they are investigating future deployment opportunities in other parts of the country.

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3 thoughts on “Albertsons Activates Solar Panels on Three Stores

  1. Why must everyone inflate their numbers by calculating the amount over 20 years and 12 million kilowatts. The savings is 600,000 Kw/year. This store, depending on the effeciency of the equipment, uses about 3-3-1/2 million Kilowatts per year. Tell me more about the story. How much did it cost Albertsons to install something that will reduce its energy bill roughly 20%? How long is the return on the investment? There is so much fuzzy data on the market today making it difficult to make a wise financial decision on the feasability of solar energy. What’s the point of spending a dollar to save 50 cents just to have a warm fuzzy feeling. I would love to hear the whole story rather than numbers multiplied by 20 to impact the headline. You guys are in the grocery business. Why not make an apples to apples comparison. The savings will not take one car off the road. The savings will power 1100 homes for a year. Leave it at that.

  2. While I will not defend reporting styles or accuracies, I do not agree with some of the implications contained in the first comment.

    First, one cannot compare up-front costs with ongoing savings in a simplistic statement about ‘spending X to save Y’. Unlike X, the savings are ongoing, long into the indefinite future. Even economic quantities like net present value or ROI do not fully capture that distinction. In reality, one might spend X to save Y over Z years – and another Y+ in another Z years, and another Y+ after Z more years, and so on (the Y+ accounts for rising fossil-fuel-based energy costs). And at some later date, one will have to spend another quantity to replace the original equipment, probably at some cost much less than the original X.

    And the action provides more than just “a warm fuzzy feeling”. It is precisely actions like this that will, when added together all across the nation and the world, eventually form our summed response to climate change (together with governmental actions). That warm fuzzy feeling is actually a critically important component of the summed response. AGW is a distributed problem – and only a distributed solution can hope to address it. Albertsons is taking one very tiny baby step along that distributed solution pathway.

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