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Wegmans to install solar panels at farm, office building

Rochester Business Journal
July 28, 2014

In a move to reduce its carbon footprint and meet its own energy needs, solar panels will be installed at Wegmans Food Markets Inc.’s organic farm and a building near its corporate headquarters.

“We felt the time was right for us to try solar,” said Jason Wadsworth, sustainability coordinator at Wegmans in a statement. “Solar energy installation costs have come down, and NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) incentives are available to offset some of the cost. So, we identified two locations that made sense as starting points.”

At 100 Market St.—Wegmans’ office building—more than 2,000 solar panels have been installed on its roof. The panels are anticipated to produce roughly enough power for a month’s worth of electricity for that building, which amounts to the electricity needed by nearly 50 homes for a year.

Wegmans Organic Farm will install more than 300 solar panels to the organic farm by the end of the summer.

“Harnessing more of the power of the sun to grow the beautiful leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers and root vegetables we have at the Organic Farm is a perfect fit,” said Eben Kennedy, produce group manager overseeing the farm, in a statement. “Thanks to the solar panels, our barn and high-tunnel greenhouses will extend the growing season at very little energy cost. That’s a triple win for us: it’s good for the environment, good for the business, and good for people.”

Funding for the panels was from NYSERDA’s NY-Sun initiative, which provides $1 billion to help expand the solar industry throughout the state.

“We’re very pleased to explore how clean, solar energy can take us further along the sustainability path,” Wadsworth said. “We’ll learn more about how this technology works for us and make better decisions in the future about when and where solar energy makes sense. We’ve learned that over time even little steps can add up to a very big difference.”

Wegmans recently received a Green Globes certification by the Green Building Initiative for its building practices. Green Globes is a Web-based program that aides in green building education and certification that including assessment by an off-site third party representative.

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail service@rbj.net.


What You're Saying 

Carla Da Silva at 4:50:45 PM on 7/29/2014
It’s great news that Wegmans has decided to go solar; they’ll definitely benefit from it. Not only are they demonstrating their commitment to sustainability but they are saving on operating costs and rising electricity costs. Learn more about how solar can be an effective fi...  Read More >
Jesse Cook at 12:23:58 PM on 11/7/2014
Solar electric systems are an ideal way to combat rising energy costs and address environmental concerns. Wouldn't expect anything less from Wegmans, they're always thinking!

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