Whole Foods Market in Brooklyn Gets More Sustainable with Solar Carports

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Solaire Generation completes installation of solar carports at new Whole Foods Market in Brooklyn, New York. The solar system, developed and financed by SunEdison, will supply approximately 380,000 kWh of clean energy annually and is the largest solar parking system in New York City.

 

There’s a new addition to the new Whole Foods Market in Brooklyn, New York. The store is becoming more sustainable with a recently commissioned 325kW solar system featuring six Solaire Generation solar parking canopies. The solar system, developed and financed by SunEdison, will supply approximately 380,000 kWh of clean energy annually and is the largest solar parking system in New York City.

Solar is just part of the store’s claims to sustainability. The store sits on a remediated brownfield site along the Gowanus Canal and contains off-grid, self-generated LED parking lot lighting, self-generating car charging stations that use wind and solar power, and a combined heat and power system. The rooftop hosts a 20,000-square-foot greenhouse. Because of that, there was no room for a traditional rooftop solar installation.

So a carport seemed like the ideal solution. In addition to meeting 25% of the store’s projected electricity needs, the solar canopies will provide protection from sun, snow, and rain for Whole Foods Market shoppers. More businesses are turning to solar canopies for these reasons — plus, a parking lot provides otherwise unused space that can augment or replace the rooftop area where panels have traditionally been located.

And that’s not all. The Solaire Premium F2 canopies feature an integrated stormwater management system to lower the building’s water use and reduce storm runoff into the Gowanus. The system collects stormwater and feeds it into a 30,000-gallon tank beneath the parking lots, where it is stored for filtration and non-potable reuse within the building.

“As a NYC-based solar company, we are thrilled to have completed our first installation in our hometown and to be part of such an energy-efficient grocery store,” said Solaire Generation CEO Laurence Mackler. “The project demonstrates that solar can successfully be deployed within a retail parking environment and improve the customer experience.”

 

Solar power is not new to Whole Foods. In 2002 it became the nation’s first food retailer to use a solar lighting system, and it’s been putting solar systems on its stores for years. Yet another example of how solar is good for business.