MONTREAL -- A&P's installation of a co-generation electrical, heating and cooling system at a store in Mount Kisco, N.Y., is expected to save the retailer $129,000 in energy costs annually, according to Jim Kirk, director of engineering, A&P, Montvale, N.J.
Kirk shared details about the system during a session at Food Marketing Institute's Energy and Technical Services conference, held here Sept. 18 to 21.
The system, the PureComfort 240M, was developed by UTC Power, South Windsor, Conn., in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy. The Mt. Kisco store, which completed installation of the system last December, is the first U.S. supermarket to employ it.
The system is estimated to replace about 50% of the electricity provided by the store's local utility, as well as reduce the energy required by refrigeration, space cooling, desiccant regeneration and space heating. A&P projects that each year the system will save $44,000 on grid electricity, $10,000 on refrigeration compression, $45,000 on space cooling compression, $9,000 on desiccant regeneration and $21,000 on space heating.
The PureComfort 240M system can convert fuel to about 2.1 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually. It also uses the exhaust heat generated from its power production to provide heating as well as cooling for the store. Nine hundred MBTUs (million British thermal units) of hot water generated hourly by the system are used for winter operations and space heating, while 110 tons of chilled water are used for space cooling and refrigerant sub-cooling.
A&P uses 100% of the energy generated by the system, according to A&P spokeswoman Patti Councill.
The system produces about 40% less carbon dioxide per megawatt hour than the average fossil-fueled utility plant, and about 10,000 pounds per year less nitrogen oxide.
A&P selected the Mt. Kisco store for the system's installation because of high local utility costs, which according to Kirk are about 13 cents per kilowatt hour, compared to a chain average of 8.5 cents per kilowatt hour.
UTC Power received a grant from the DOE, which it applied to the cost of the A&P installation. The cost of the system and installation came to $699,000 before the DOE funding, according to Kirk.
One of the challenges of the project was transporting and lifting the 98,000-pound prefabricated system onto the 57,000-square-foot A&P store's roof. "It required the largest crane on the East Coast to lift it," adding $37,000 to the cost of the project, Kirk said. To secure the roof, an additional $55,000 was spent on steel reinforcement.
To transport the system from North Carolina, "we had to travel several hundreds of miles out of our way," he said. "We had to get a permit just to get it there."
Although these challenges were associated with the unit's size, prefabrication simplified its installation, according to Kirk. "There was better quality control since the unit was assembled in the factory and when we got it, it was plug and play," he said. In order to limit the cost of future installations, however, A&P will install the system on the ground, he explained. Noise associated with the system is minimal, comparable to that of a rooftop air conditioning unit.
UTC Power taught all of the store's associates about the system, and informed community members about the reduction in emissions attributed to the system, said Kirk. "People have money in [Westchester County, N.Y.], so they don't mind paying more to have something green," Kirk said.