Whole Foods Gets Solar Carports


Whole Foods Market has commissioned a 325-kilowatt solar system featuring six Solaire Generation solar parking canopies at the Austin, Texas-based chain’s new location in Brooklyn, N.Y. The system, developed and financed by Belmont, Calif.-based SunEdison, will supply about 380,000 kilowatt-hours of clean energy per year and is the largest solar parking system in New York City.

As well as meeting a quarter of the store’s projected electricity needs, the solar canopies’ patented dual-incline design will provide protection from sun, snow and rain for the store’s shoppers. “The project demonstrates that solar can successfully be deployed within a retail parking environment and improve the customer experience,” observed Laurence Mackler, CEO of New York-based Solaire Generation.

Sustainable Store

The Brooklyn store’s Solaire Premium F2 canopies feature an integrated storm water management system to lower the building’s water use and reduce storm runoff into the Gowanus Canal. The system collects storm water and feeds it into a 30,000-gallon tank under the parking lots where it’s stored for filtration and nonpotable reuse within the building.

In addition to installing the solar parking canopies, the store sits on a remediated brownfield site along the Gowanus and has off-grid, self-generated light-emitting diode (LED) parking lot lighting, self-generating car-charging stations via wind and solar power, and a combined heat and power (CHP) system.

Whole Foods and SunEdison have worked together since 2004, jointly implementing 1.5 megawatts of solar projects.