Stop & Shop debuts fuel cell technology

Quincy, Mass. -- The Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. announced it is using fuel-cell technology, at its store in East Torrington, Conn.

The fuel cell, a UTC Power PureCell System Model 400, was supported with a grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund's On-Site Renewable Distributed Generation Program and is the first fuel-cell utilized by Stop & Shop. It is expected to generate over 90% of the store's electric energy.

"In our commitment to be a sustainable company, we continually look for new innovations and technologies that help us build more energy efficient stores," said Jihad Rizkallah, VP store planning for Stop & Shop. "The fuel-cell technology is the latest step we've taken to ensure we're doing everything we can to lower our impact to the environment in each community we serve."

Since the fuel cell was commissioned in June of last year, it has produced over 1.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, accounting for 95% of the store's total electric energy requirements. This, coupled with the use of the thermal energy produced by the fuel cell, has reduced the total electric and natural gas utility bills for the store by roughly 50%.

By generating most of its power on site, Stop & Shop is able to reduce the burden on the local power grid and its impact on the environment. The fuel-cell operates without fossil fuel combustion which in turn makes electricity production virtually pollution-free.

Stop & Shop anticipates the fuel-cell will prevent the release of more than 523 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually -- the equivalent of planting more than 120 acres of trees. Designed to operate in water-balance, with no consumption or discharge of water under normal operations, the fuel cell at the Torrington Stop & Shop store will save 3.5 million gallons of water, compared with central utility generated electricity.