WinCo Foods Goes Live with Cutting Edge Solar Lighting Technology

Jun 22, 2011, 14:03 ET from WinCo Foods, LLC

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BOISE, Idaho, June 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- WinCo Foods, LLC in its continuing effort to embrace sustainable, efficient, environmentally sound technologies that support and enhance its mission to continue to be the area supermarket low price leader has recently installed six new solar powered light poles on the perimeter of the parking area at its downtown Boise, Idaho store.

These lighting fixtures are unique, in that the solar panels that power the LEDs are actually integrated as a part of the pole fixture itself.  Preliminary tests and estimates indicate that these six poles will save nearly 24,000 kilowatt hours per year – the equivalent of burning 237,000 one hundred watt light bulbs for an hour.  They will also save nearly 16,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year – the equivalent of burning 880 gallons of gasoline or put in other terms, the equivalent of planting roughly 200 new trees. An electronic display panel inside the entrance to the store allows customers to see data illustrating the impact these new lighting fixtures are making on the store's energy usage.  

Excess electricity produced by the light fixtures will be fed back into the store, thus reducing the amount of electricity drawn from the grid for other store energy needs.  WinCo expects that this test at its Boise store will lead to utilizing this technology exclusively at new stores and converting from the older pressurized sodium and metal halide light fixtures at its existing stores.

WinCo Foods' ongoing efforts to reduce its energy usage and carbon footprint by utilizing technologies that improve efficiencies in heating, cooling and lighting its stores and warehouses has resulted in a top 10 ranking from Idaho Power Company, recognizing that WinCo has saved 2,062,791 kWh during 2010 in Idaho alone.

WinCo Foods is an employee owned company founded in 1967 in Boise, Idaho.  WinCo Foods operates as a regional discount supermarket company and currently employs approximately 14,000 individuals and operates 79 stores and 4 distribution centers in the states of Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California, Oregon and Utah.