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Walgreens plans to build first net zero retail store in the U.S.

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March 29, 2013

Walgreens has revealed plans to build what it believes will be the first net zero retail s...

Walgreens has revealed plans to build what it believes will be the first net zero retail store in the United States

Drugstore chain giant Walgreens has announced its intention to build what the company believes will be the first net zero retail store in the United States. Once open for business, engineers anticipate that the combination of solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal technology, energy-efficient building materials, LED lighting and ultra-high-efficiency refrigeration will allow the new store to produce energy equal to or greater than it consumes.

Walgreens already has a number of green technology achievements under its belt. Of its 8,000 or so stores throughout the nation, 150 make use of solar power generation, there's one in Oak Park (IL) that's using a geothermal system and another in Texas that harnesses energy from the wind. Some 400 of its stores offer electric vehicle charging, and 15 Walgreens distribution centers generate more revenue from recycling than they spend on dealing with waste.

The company also runs two gold status LEED certified stores, and aims to have the new net zero store achieve LEED Platinum certification.

Located in Evanston (IL), at the intersection of Chicago Avenue and Keeney Street, the new store will replace an existing Walgreens outlet that's currently undergoing demolition. The company says that it will be constructed using energy efficient building materials, have more than 800 roof-top solar panels, two wind turbines, and will tap into geothermal energy 550 feet (167 meters) below the store to heat or cool the establishment in winter and summer.

Walgreens estimates that the new store will use 200,000 kWh of electricity per year, while generating 256,000 kWh over the same period. The company is hoping that the new store will achieve net zero status within two years.

Source: Walgreens

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Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
8 Comments

So, 150 of their 8,000 stores are eco, impressive SMH

Bill Bennett
29th March, 2013 @ 10:29 pm PDT

re; Bill Bennett

You think just because Walgreens has not taken on a huge debt load to simultaneously modify all their outlets to brag worthy eco status means that Walgreens isn't lowering their environmental impact corporation wide.

Bankruptcy that's green. Not.

Slowburn
30th March, 2013 @ 01:44 am PDT

Ha. I use 365kWh of electricity per year as a single person in northern England in a two storey house. You really are on a different planet.

I have an off grid solar panel for powering a small fridge and use about 1000kWh of gas for heating/hot water. 90% of my waste is recycled, even food, by the council via different bins.

Dan Barkley
30th March, 2013 @ 06:14 am PDT

Yo, Slowburn, my home 100% LED lighting, yours?

Bill Bennett
30th March, 2013 @ 06:15 pm PDT

That nice Bill did you go massively in debt to buy them?

Slowburn
30th March, 2013 @ 09:42 pm PDT

To all ECO evangelists: Please calm down. The arrows that keep hitting you are the result of honest skepticism (aka critical analysis) and real world obstacles that MUST STILL be overcome.

The plain truth is that not one single non-petroleum fuel/alternative energy source is economically scalable - yet. All of it is in the incubator phase.

Will so called "green energy" get there? Yes. When it overcomes the economic barriers to entry that still exist.

Guess what? WE skeptics are just as tired of the euphoric over-simplifications being held up as practical as are YOU evangelists are tired of the constant hole-poking.

The result of this yin & yang will be the ultimate success of alternative energy. It is always the same with every advancement since the dawn of man. So relax, take the constructive criticism at face value (and ignore the assholes) and keep striving for the winning formula. When that happens, the skeptics will be opening their wallets faster than you can count the money....

Joseph Boe
1st April, 2013 @ 06:58 am PDT

Yey! Lets flog a company for trying!

Brian Murray
2nd April, 2013 @ 06:42 am PDT

........................

"The plain truth is that not one single non-petroleum fuel/alternative energy source is economically scalable - yet. All of it is in the incubator phase.

Will so called "green energy" get there? Yes. When it overcomes the economic barriers to entry that still exist."

.....................

Yopp.

Hopefully NG will get so cheap like it did at Ericcson's showing of his solar stirling at the world expo (I think Tesla and Edison were there too) that the 'corporate ' welfare for Oil and Gas should end soon. (1800's wasn't quite the death of solar)

Biggest part of the economics is life cycle- we're still stuck at less than a lifetime and a few of the alternatives could be multi-generational in lifespan.

Kwazai
3rd April, 2013 @ 05:21 am PDT
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