TORRINGTON, Conn. — Stop & Shop, Quincy, Mass., plans to use a 400-kilowatt fuel cell to generate power and heat in a new store opening here in late April.
The fuel cell, provided by UTC Power, South Windsor, Conn., releases much less carbon dioxide than traditional power sources, and almost no other pollutants. In other supermarket installations, it has operated in concert with the U.S. electrical grid — with most of the energy coming from the fuel cell — and as a stand-alone generator when the grid is unavailable.
As a producer of electricity, the fuel cell has an efficiency of 40%, compared with about 35% for traditional power plants, said Neal Montany, director of UTC’s stationary fuel cell business; by capturing the heat it produces, the fuel cell can increase its efficiency up to 90%, he added.
Other stores using a UTC Power fuel cell include two Whole Foods Market stores in New England, a Price Chopper store in Colonie, N.Y., and a Star Market store in Chestnut Hill, Mass. The cost of the technology at these stores has been defrayed by state and federal incentives.
At a Whole Foods store in Glastonbury, Conn., using a 200-kilowatt fuel cell, total electrical and heat energy costs were 30% lower after the first year than a comparable, conventionally powered store in West Hartford, Conn.