From heating water to powering refrigerators, grocery stores require a tremendous amount of energy to operate. We recognize this, and have always challenged ourselves to build the most energy efficient stores we can.
Good Earth sources 100% of our electricity from renewable sources.
Our Fairfax store features one of Marin County’s largest solar systems, and we are longtime customers of Marin Clean Energy’s Deep Green Energy Program. These renewable resources have allowed us to reduce our annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 800,000 pounds of CO2 per year- the emissions equivalent of not burning 400,000 pounds of coal.
As part of our ongoing commitment to reducing our footprint, we are excited to announce that we are undertaking a new project to expand the solar system used for our Fairfax store.
New Fairfax System To Provide 80-90% Of Store Power
When Good Earth opened our new, larger Fairfax store in February 2012, solar panels atop our building supplied the energy to heat our water. In 2013, we leased the rooftops of the Fairfax Plaza across the street from us to complete a large photovoltaic system.
Our current system covers 40,000 square feet of rooftop, and supplies close to 30% of our electricity for the Fairfax store. The total size of our current system is 201.5 kW AC (238.6 kW DC) with two KACO 100 watt inverters buried within our parking lot. The total annual output is 346,273kWh.
Our planned expansion will consist of 892 panels, cover the roof of our Fairfax store, and is expected to generate 298kW per hour (489,340kW per year).
We are investing in highly efficient panels, which will allow the entire array to lay flat with the roofline, rather than have each panel individually tilted. This expansion alone will generate roughly 54% of our entire electrical demand. Combined with the existing array on the Fairfax Plaza building across the street, we expect to cover 80-90% of the store’s electric consumption.
New Battery Systems At Both Stores
In addition to our solar expansion, we are installing a 20,000lb, 360kWh battery system in our Fairfax store. The battery will charge during off-peak hours, then release the stored energy back into the grid during peak hours, helping to alleviate the pressure on the grid when energy is most in demand. We are also adding a smaller, 120kWh battery system in our Mill Valley location.
We are excited for this next step in our renewable energy journey, and expect to complete these projects by Spring 2019.