Stop & Shop is deploying fuel cell technology that will reduce its environmental footprint while keeping stores open even during a power outage.
The supermarket retailer announced that it will power 40 of its stores in Massachusetts and New York with Bloom Energy’s solid oxide fuel cell technology (“Bloom Energy Servers”). The servers will provide clean, reliable, 24/7 electricity in an “AlwaysON” microgrid configuration that will continue to power each Stop & Shop location in the event of a grid power outage during severe weather or other unforeseen events.
The Bloom Energy fuel cells deployed at each Stop & Shop store will be configured as a microgrid that can operate independently of the local electric grid. The servers receive their natural gas or biogas fuel through the underground pipeline system, making them significantly less susceptible to the impacts of extreme weather than overhead power lines, according to Bloom Energy.
In addition, the new power solution is expected to reduce Stop & Shop’s carbon emissions by over 15,000 metric tons per year – the equivalent of removing about 3,200 cars from the road. It also virtually eliminate smog-forming pollution and particulate emissions.
“Our stores are an important community resource for our customers, particularly when severe weather strikes,” said Gordon Reid, president of Stop & Shop. “Whether customers need to stock up on food, batteries, flashlights, other emergency items, or even their prescription medications, we know how vital the products and services our stores provide are. These servers will not only reduce our stores’ impact on the environment but also ensure our stores can stay open when needed most.”
The Bloom Energy servers convert natural gas or biogas fuel into electricity without combustion, using solid oxide fuel cell technology. They use no water in normal operation. With the use of the technology, Stop & Shop expects to save the fresh water system over 1.6 billion gallons annually.
Installations of Bloom microgrids will begin early this year with Stop & Shop stores located on Cape Cod, followed by additional stores in Massachusetts and Long Island. The Massachusetts projects are made possible through collaboration with the sponsors of Mass Save, including Cape Light Compact, Eversource, and National Grid.
This is not Stop & Shop’s first time teaming up with Bloom Energy. Bloom Energy Servers power a store in Mt. Vernon, New York, have helped keep it open during several severe storms since 2014. The technology is also deployed at a Stop & Shop location in Peekskill, New York.
The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC is an Ahold Delhaize USA Company and operates more than 400 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey.