Walgreens unveils energy self-sufficient drug store

Sporting two wind turbines, nearly 850 solar panels and a geothermal system burrowed 550 feet into the ground, one of Walgreens' new stores will produce energy equal to or greater than it consumes.

Located at 635 Chicago Ave. in Evanston, Ill., the store opens to the public at 11 a.m., Thursday, November 21.

Walgreens plans to generate electricity and reduce its energy usage in the store by more than 50 percent through several technologies including:

·      Nearly 850 roof-top solar panels, generating enough energy to power 30 Illinois homes for a year;

·      Two 35-foot-tall wind turbines, using Lake Michigan breezes to generate enough power to offset annual greenhouse gas emissions from 2.2 passenger vehicles;

·      Geothermal energy obtained by drilling 550 feet into the ground below the store, where temperatures are more constant and can be tapped to heat or cool the store in winter and summer;

·      LED lighting and daylight harvesting;

·      Carbon dioxide refrigerant for heating, cooling and refrigeration equipment;

·      And energy efficient building materials.

Engineering estimates, which can vary due to factors such as weather, store operations and systems performance, indicate that the store will use 200,000 kWh per year of electricity while generating 220,000 kWh per year.

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