After reading about a new Whole Foods Market featuring two super-green-friendly plug-in vehicle charging stations out in its parking lot, one wonders if the IFC sketch comedy show should be renamed "Brooklandia." Because it doesn't get much more crunchy than this.

The grocery retailer has worked with Urban Green Energy (UGE) to develop all sorts of eco-friendly goodies at its new Brooklyn store. First up for us green-car enthusiasts are the two UGE Sanya Skypump vehicle-charging stations that UGE says produce more power than they consume using wind and solar energy. There are also 19 streetlights on site that will also be energy-positive. And, heck, there's even some harmonic convergence going on, as the new market is located at the intersection of Third and 3rd. And UGE is even throwing in a Hurricane Sandy reference for good measure, noting that the streetlights will function even in the event of a regional power outage.

But it gets better, as those Leaf, Volt and Model S drivers charging from the Skypump machines can also see that the solar carports are well, yes, rooftop hydroponic greenhouses. We expect lots of kale will be grown there, but that's not specified in UGE's press release, available below.
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UGE and Whole Foods Market Enter Into Groundbreaking Energy Partnership

The new Whole Foods Market in Brooklyn is illuminated by UGE's hybrid wind and solar streetlights and customers can charge cars at UGE's renewable EV charging stations

BROOKLYN, NY, December 19, 2013 - Executing an innovative vision of energy sustainability, Urban Green Energy (UGE) has partnered with national grocery chain Whole Foods Market to develop a groundbreaking renewable energy powered lighting project at Whole Foods Market's new location at Third and 3rd in Brooklyn, NY, scheduled to open in December 2013. The eco-conscious market will be illuminated by UGE's Sanya SLSTM streetlights and customers will be able to charge their electric cars at UGE Sanya SkypumpTM charging stations in the market's outdoor area.

Just over a year after the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, the energy reliability aspect of this project was instrumental in its development. "In the event of a regional power outage, the Sanya SLS streetlights will continue operating, simply by gathering the energy freely available in the wind and sun," said UGE's Ryan Gilchrist. "We are seeing an increasing number of customers come to us looking for energy reliability solutions, guaranteeing the long term energy security of their sites by implementing innovative applications for energy storage."

Both the UGE streetlights and the charging stations are able to produce more energy than they require, reducing energy consumption at the supermarket while maximizing reliability and sustainability for the community. Taking advantage of the smart grid regulations available in New York State, UGE's power systems contribute to the store's microgrid - feeding energy to the electrical grid and taking only when needed.

The 19 Sanya SLS streetlights and 2 Sanya Skypumps are a highly visible demonstration of Whole Foods Market's commitment to the environment, and complement an exemplary sustainability effort from the supermarket chain. The new store also features solar carports, a rooftop taproom and restaurants that sources its food from local producers, and a rooftop hydroponic greenhouse, built, operated and run by Brooklyn-based Gotham Greens, which will supply fresh greens and tomatoes to customers all year round.

Featuring a HoYi! wind turbine and solar panels, the Sanya SLS streetlights require no supplemental energy source to power the LEDs, reducing installation costs substantially as there is no need for expensive trenching and wiring. The two UGE Sanya Skypumps are a collaborative innovation between General Electric (GE) and UGE, bringing together the technology behind GE's WattStationTM and UGE's Sanya streetlamp. Since its introduction in 2011, the clean energy EV charging station has been installed in various locations around the world.

UGE is an industry leader in renewable-powered off-grid lighting systems, with an international lighting infrastructure portfolio. The newest addition to its growing line of lighting solutions is the Boardwalk. "A perfect complement to the Sanya Series, this hybrid lighting system has a more traditional lighting aesthetic and is ideal for pedestrian areas, bicycle paths and other public spaces," said Tyler Adkins, UGE's Director of Sustainable Lighting Solutions.

www.urbangreenenergy.com +1 (917) 720 5685 330 W 38th St, Suite 1103, NY 10018 info@urbangreenenergy.com

Beyond the current installation in Brooklyn, Whole Foods and UGE will continue discussions for implementing wind, solar, and lighting solutions at additional store locations.

About UGE
With projects in over 80 countries, including installations for several Fortune 100 companies, UGE is changing the face of distributed renewable energy at a global scale. Focusing on the enterprise market, our advantage is the ability to rapidly deploy customized renewable energy solutions across global facilities portfolios, leveraging best-in-class integration expertise, and project finance. The solution deployed at each site is custom tailored to customer and site-specific needs by drawing from industry-leading solar PV, proprietary wind technology, energy storage, monitoring, and control systems, which are combined into best in class solutions at the nexus of energy cost, security and sustainability. Our customized energy solutions allow enterprise clients to surpass sustainability goals while serving their bottom line.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 29 Comments
      Bob Allan
      • 2 Days Ago
      Sounds like a solid step forward for an American retailer, who understands that sustainability has many long term benefits. The carport PV arrays will generate more than electrons, unlike typical rooftop systems, customers will actually see these every time they go shopping. Whole Foods, like every one of its competitors is far from perfect, this store demonstrates that they are serious about walking the walk.
      mehul_kamdar
      • 2 Days Ago
      I am someone who knows the UGE people fairly well - I am working wit them on a proposed project overseas. They are a very smart and capable team who were able to engineer products and pricing that handily beat performance and pricing from several countries including China, (if that matters). If someone has questions about their products, they are welcome to talk to them. You won't find more enthusiastic or decent people to talk to. And, this is the opinion of someone who works on their clients' side, not for UGE. I do think that there will be more positive news about them here in the future.
      Rotation
      • 2 Days Ago
      Any parking lot lamp you can run from a panel that small isn't going to illuminate the lot much. Not that it stood a chance of doing so with the panels in the way anyway. As to the panels themselves, each parking spot can fill about half a LEAF on a good summer day. Any more and they won't be net positive anymore. Although I'm sure the electricity won't go to waste, it'll go into the grid.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Rotation
        Eh, you'd be surprised. Modern high efficiency LEDs can kick out a crap-ton of light per watt inputted. Those CREE LEDs make the sun jealous. A single 100 watt one could illuminate a lot with the right spread lens. I have a 10 watt CREE light on one of my bikes. To say that it does the job at high speeds is an understatement :)
        Tweaker
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Rotation
        You can't make any calculations or assumptions without at least knowing the output of the panel. They don't make much sense either, what is this noise about half a Leaf per day?
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Rotation
        Are you sure there's a lamp on the same pole as the solar panel and the windmill? I'd think the place to put the lamps would be under the awning, rather the cover of the large horizontal panels. I don't see anything that looks like a lamp on the windmill poles, but it's not the best photo.
      Rotation
      • 2 Days Ago
      I'm sure there are lamps under the awning too, and those are not counted in the equation for the break-even light standards. There's no way CREEs could cover that lot from just those pole panels, there has to be light under the arrays and those would be lit by the array power, which is quite a bit more area than the pole panels.
      Jesse Gurr
      • 2 Days Ago
      Sure if they were relying only on solar, but they also have wind they could use. Granted, it may not be as predictable but could be enough to power the lights through the night.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 2 Days Ago
      I like how Danny makes it seem like 'it's so liberal you could puke'.. Couldn't think of a better writer for a green news site than one who mocks and adds negative connotation to everything he writes about. Great job!
        Kelly Erin O'Brien
        • 2 Days Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Who hired this guy to write for ABG? His writing doesn't even make any sense: "But it gets better, as those Leaf, Volt and Model S drivers charging from the Skypump machines can also see that the solar carports are well, yes, rooftop hydroponic greenhouses." WTF is he talking about?
          Naturenut99
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Kelly Erin O'Brien
          He gets so giddy at making fun of green tech. he doesn't proof read. That or in his brain it makes sense ?
        EZEE2
        • 2 Days Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        And just think, last week, maybe the week before, Whole Foods was the hated scourge of the earth due to the CEO speaking out against Obamacare! Things like this put them back into favor. Danny's writing does seem odd.
      Jim McL
      • 2 Days Ago
      With photovoltaic panels being so sensitive to shade, it is curious to see the shadow of the wind machine on the PV panels. Makes me wonder about how competently the system was designed and the various elements positioned. There might be too large an element of showmanship and not enough engineering expertise. Many PV panels can lose a large amount of output due to a small amount of shade since the cells are in series. Still it is a good thing. Looks like a significant portion of a megawatt at peak production. Hard to tell what kind of panels compose the main array, but the individual panels on the street light poles appear to be amorphous silicon, which is usually low efficiency. SunPower has commercial panels that exceed 20% efficiency now, far better than amorphous.
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Jim McL
        @Jim: The SLS street lights from UGE leverage high quality c-Si modules (more information here: http://www.urbangreenenergy.com/solutions/wind-solar-hybrid-streetlights) . The UGE team works with world class providers to integrate an optimal solution at a competitive cost. The combination of the wind and solar, along with battery in the base of the light, provide an adequate amount of energy for the lights to stay on all night. SunPower modules are best used in space constrained applications, where a user is trying to maximize energy output in a given space. A standard 250W c-Si module is more than adequate for this type of application.
        Technoir
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Jim McL
        Interesting. So if 5% of the panels are shaded, it will lose more than 5% in generated power?
          Jim McL
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Technoir
          DC Optimizers or micro-inverters do limit the effect of shade to a single panel. I don't have DC optimizers on my home array (yet) and I do have significant shade issues. The installers gave me the impression that 5% shade on a panel can drop the output of that panel by 50% in some cases. It depends on the panel design. I have SunPower panels which have more bypass diodes than many brands, but I still see huge effects from winter low-sun-angle shade. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photovoltaic_system#Shading_and_dirt Interestingly, the shaded cells actually dissipate power from the sunny cells as heat, which helps explain the multiplier effect. So even the thin line of shade from the pole of the wind machine across many panels can cut down the output from those panels significantly.
          EZEE2
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Technoir
          @tech Here is why I am, in so many cases, a funny and humorous, much beloved character here at ABG. My background is, of course, and an engineer and rocket scientist. As such, when it comes to technical items, I will only comment if I specifically understand that item. If not, I provide my irreverent humor to brighten everyone's day (pause for eye rolls from Dan, Rak, Spec, etc). My point is, I never assume the luxury of knowing something and offering opinion, unless I actually know it. But to a bigger point, wouldn't it be great if the writers here actually did the research for us, and let us know? Like, help educate people and stuff? But that's just me. Merry Christmas Tech.... Hope it is joyous, peaceful, restful, and memorable.
          Dave R
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Technoir
          If the system is not using micro inverters or some sort of optimizer on each panel, then yes. If you fully shade a single panel, it will kill the output of the entire array.
          Tweaker
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Technoir
          No. Somebody who doesn't know what he is talking about is confusing you. You will lose production for that particular section.
          Technoir
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Technoir
          Okay so we have 1 yes and 1 no, I am still confused : O
        Rotation
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Jim McL
        If it is a grid-tie system with microinverters, the shadow won't be much of an issue. Microinverters minimize the "christmas tree" effect.
          Rotation
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Rotation
          The shadow from those wind turbines amounts to nothing without the christmas tree effect. You're talking about lose 1kWh a day, and that's when the shadow of the wind turbine is on the panels all day.
          Ryan
          • 2 Days Ago
          @Rotation
          I have a microinverter array, you still don't want the panels to be shaded. There are other places to put the wind turbines.
      • 2 Days Ago
      Rotation, you are correct. There are many grid-tied LEDs under the awnings, which provide for most of the light on the inner lot. The 19 off-grid streetlights used on the perimeters and driveways use LEDs as well, which are only powered by their individual PV panel and wind turbine. The energy is stored in batteries in those enclosures at the base of the tower, which allows the LEDs to run all night and for several nights on a full charge.
      Marcopolo
      • 2 Days Ago
      Technicalities aside, Whole Foods Market is to be congratulated for turning a classical urban blight, (a car park lot) into such a terrific public amenity, and demonstration of the value of new technology.
        Rotation
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Marcopolo
        I dunno. Our schools parking lots around here are covered with solar trees too (that's what those are called). And they aren't any less blightful having done so. They do collect solar power though of course, so they are useful.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Days Ago
      Sorry. I've looked at the gallery photos, and if the lamps are the same as in the renderings, they should be alright. I agree with 2WM, LEDs put out a ridiculous amount of light for their size.
      Thereminator
      • 2 Days Ago
      Gotta...Love...LED's. Their everywhere now! : )
      Rotation
      • 2 Days Ago
      I'm not so sure. The CREE LEDs are very efficient. I estimated that panel as making about 0.5kWh minimum on a good but short day (like on the solstice like today). That's not going to run a 100W lamp for the time needed though.
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