Supermarkets Awarded Renewable Energy Construction Grants

Chestnut Hill, Mass. WS Development announced Tuesday that Whole Foods Market at Legacy Place in Dedham, Mass., and Star Market at the Chestnut Hill Shopping Center in Chestnut Hill, Mass., have been awarded renewable energy construction grants by the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust.

The Trust, which promotes clean-energy technologies generated from renewable sources, is part of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.

Both Whole Foods Market and Star Market plan to use fuel cells to convert reformed natural gas into hydrogen for a clean, efficient, and reliable power supply. Each store is currently under construction and scheduled to open in 2009.

“Distributed power sources and power storage are crucial pieces of the clean energy puzzle, and I am glad to see these fuel cells put to work providing reliable, on-site power for Whole Foods Market and Star Market stores in Dedham and Chestnut Hill,” said Ian Bowles, secretary, Energy and Environmental Affairs. “The [Mass. governor] Patrick Administration is pleased to partner with Whole Foods and Star Market in supporting the adoption of this innovative energy technology.”

The grants issued by the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust were part of more than $3 million awarded to nine renewable energy projects taking place throughout the state. According to the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, funds for the trust come from renewable energy charges on electric bills, which generate roughly $25 million a year to support renewable energy installations and companies.