Whole Foods Market® Becomes Largest Food Retailer
Utilizing Solar Power Lighting System
By Kristen Bergevin



Whole Foods Market, Inc., the world’s largest natural and organic supermarket, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the nation’s largest municipally-owned utility, have teamed up to create an on-site solar electric power co-generation system. Under the management of California Associated Power, Inc, the system was recently installed at the Whole Foods Market store in Woodland Hills, CA., making the company Los Angeles’ largest major retailer and nation’s largest food retailer to introduce solar energy as 25% of its power source.

Under the LADWP’s Solar Incentive Program, which provided more than $582,000 in incentives, Whole Foods Market brought together California Associated Power, Sunny Boy, Shell Solar, The Gas Company and Sempra Energy to create a 108kW solar electric system to power the Woodland Hills’ store. The solar array, composed of Shell Solar® panels covering 18,000 square feet on the store’s roof, turns the sun’s free energy into usable power. These solar panels are electrically interconnected to Sunny Boy™ power modules, which feed high-quality DC power to the store’s existing electrical system and the utility grid at large. This innovative solar electric and lighting system maximizes the usable solar energy produced by the photovoltaic panels and increases the efficiency of power conversion.

“We are a company actively looking for ways to help preserve our planet’s natural resources, and natural solar powered lighting systems made sense both from an economic and an environmental standpoint,” said Michael Besancon, Southern Pacific regional president of Whole Foods Market. “Most importantly, this initiative is helping us to further our corporate mission of preserving the environment by promoting clean energy. We are planning to implement this technology with other stores throughout the Southern Pacific region.”

“I’m pleased that this highly-regarded retailer and the LADWP are partnering to craft a smart energy solution that makes sense for our community and the environment,” noted David Wiggs, general manager, LADWP. “The Solar Power for a Green LA program is just one of the Green LA initiatives,” commented Angelina Galiteva, executive director of Green LA environmental affairs and new product development, LADWP. “The innovative Green LA efforts are aimed at implementing cutting-edge environmental technologies while responding to customer needs.”

System Benefits
Whole Foods Market’s new solar electrical system is expected to create significant economic and environmental benefits. In addition, to an attractive amortization period, the system will:

• Produce and save more than 3 million kilowatt hours over 20 years

• Result in more than 2,000 tons of CO2 emissions avoided, the equivalent of removing 536 cars from the roadways

• Reduce the equivalent of more than 2,000 tons of coal being burned

• Reduce the equivalent of removing 540,000 lbs of greenhouse gases

Whole Foods Market was founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas and is the world’s largest natural and organic foods supermarket with more than 139 stores in the U.S. The Whole Foods Market motto, “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet”™ captures the company’s mission to find success in customer satisfaction and wellness, employee excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support, and environmental improvement.

For more information, see www.wholefoodsmarket.com 

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