JULY ISSUE: Greening Walgreens

Walgreens has opened a prototype net-zero energy retail store – the first such store in the nation. Here’s a close look at what went into the Evanston, Ill., property, and what they’re getting out of it.

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Julius Caesar’s infamous fate notwithstanding, the Ides of March represents quite the fond memory for the brain trust behind the Walgreens drugstore mega-chain’s envelope-pushing facilities sustainability push.

That is because on Saturday, March 15, its new facility—billed as the nation’s first net-zero energy retail store—for the first time actually posted net-zero performance for an entire day. More specifically, the solar photovoltaic array atop the Evanston, Ill., store’s 14,820-square-foot roof, along with modest output from its 35-foot-high twin wind turbines, generated 68 kilowatt-hours (kWh) beyond the facility’s electricity consumption.

And in the wake of similar performances on several subsequent days, even more encouraging news reached the facilities team, including director of sustainability Jamie Meyers, facilities development vice president Thomas Connolly and mechanical engineering manager Jason Robbins. The redeveloped store, a short jaunt from publicly traded Walgreen Co.’s Deerfield headquarters, had achieved net-zero status over the entire month of April.

Read the full article in the July 2014 issue of CPE. Access is free!