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Walgreens To Build First Self-Powered Retail Store

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the all-in-one dept.

Earth 186

MojoKid writes "We hear about green deployment practices all the time, but it's often surrounding facilities such as data centers rather than retail stores. However, Walgreens is determined to go as green as possible, and to that end, the company announced plans for the first net zero energy retail store. The store is slated to be built at the corner of Chicago Avenue and Keeney Street in Evanston, Illinois, where an existing Walgreens is currently being demolished. The technologies Walgreens is plotting to implement in this new super-green store will include solar panels and wind turbines to generate power; geothermal technology for heat; and efficient energy consumption with LED lighting, daylight harvesting, and 'ultra-high-efficiency' refrigeration."

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But... (5, Funny)

longbot (789962) | about a year ago | (#43198457) it powered by the tears of employees?

Re:But... (3, Funny)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about a year ago | (#43198613)

I think Walmart has that patented.

Re:But... (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about a year ago | (#43199229)

walmart owns walgreens

Re:But... (1)

jhoegl (638955) | about a year ago | (#43198619)

Epic comment.
But lets be clear here, Walmart is doing everything to reduce costs so the family owners can scrape in more and give back less.
If they could use employee tears to power their facility at a lower cost, you know they would.

Re:But... (2)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#43199197)

And ironically enough, that means higher taxes for everybody else as they purposefully fail to pay a living wage or provide any sort of benefits. And, undercut the local retailers leaving no jobs either before they move onto a new community to suck dry.

Re:But... (3, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#43199561)

Walmart is quite cheap. Far more people work there than shop there. It's a net win - just like factory automation reducing the number of factory workers is a net win. Also, Walmart really pisses off hipsters, so it's twice as good.

Higher taxes for everyone else comes from voting for bigger government, not from Walmarts.

And, undercut the local retailers leaving no jobs either before they move onto a new community to suck dry.

Riiiight, just like the industrial revolution destroyed everyone's standard of living by putting all those local craftsmen out of work. Reducing the cost of products and services is called "technology" and it's a good thing, despite the workers it always displaces.

Re:But... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year ago | (#43200085)

People do seem to forget that before Walmart there was Sears. They not only filled the role of Walmart before Walmart existed, they also filled the roll of Amazon. Needed a hammer? Go to Sears. Needed a bathtub? Go to Sears. Heck, Needed a house? Go to Sears.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43200123)

Hasn't it been quite a few decades since Sears sold houses (and, they were "kits", not completed houses)?

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43200289)

Sorry about that, but the higher taxes come from Walmart not paying a living wage, where you and I as taxpayers, pick up the health care costs that walmart will not chip into, or for the largess of our government of giving food to the underpaid, and unsubdized worker, by the shutting of the competition thru predatory pricing, low until the competition closes and then right up to what the local market will bear. Check with tow or three of the walmarts in your area, you weill not see the same price on anything, except for what is in the news ad. Go to your next town where there is competition, and check the prices at walmart, and then shop at a AG or other supplier that pays a living wage.

Re:But... (4, Insightful)

germansausage (682057) | about a year ago | (#43199699)

I know everybody loves to bash Walmart, but is really justified? At the risk of greatly oversimplifying, you can help poor people by 1. getting them more money, or 2. making the things they need to buy cost less. Walmart is working very hard at doing thing 2. Do you think Walmart's margins are higher or lower than the retail industry average?

Re:But... (4, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#43199877)

That is what the tribalists dont understand.

When things are cheaper because of greater efficiencies, everyone involved wins.

In truly free trade, everyone wins. Whenever I am better at A's than B's, and you are better at B's than A's, then trading is of benefit to both of us.

Thats regardless of any other factors. For instance, I can also be better at B's than you are at B's, yet trade still benefits both of us because no matter how much better I am then you at B's, I am still better at A's than B's.

The complaints about companies like walmart are cloud and mirrors around the idea that you may not be good enough at either A's or B's to make a reasonable living (= low wages.) But this really isn't an argument against walmart.. the problem is skills. Those attacking walmart and corporations like it won't improve anyones skills, but may end up costing people their low skill jobs.

Re:But... (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43200081)

I don't know about Walmart because I don't live in the US, but the objections to UK supermarkets are that they are impersonal and give bad service, combined with screwing suppliers. Farmers can't afford to produce milk ethically because their biggest customers demand factory farming level prices.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43200153)

Then, it seems to me, that consumers are getting exactly what they want -- prices are more important to the vast majority of them than service and "ethical" milk. Talk is cheap, but most people tend to be cheaper than their talk when picking among competing products.

If there were really a significant demand for higher priced "ethical" milk, surely it would be available (of course at a higher price than the factory stuff). I live in the US in a fairly liberal/progressive area, and here you can select from a range of retailers. There's Whole Paycheck which has a lot of "organic" and some actual high end foods (such as meats) and there's Walmart who has fewer organic products and pretty much no high end foods (but, of course, charges lower prices). Both exist because some people prefer the price/quality/"coolness" balance of one over the other.

Re:But... (2, Insightful)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about a year ago | (#43200243)

I love impersonal places. I hate having smalltalk with a 85 year old grocery bagger. Just sell me my shit so I can leave, I don't need to see a friendly face and exchange ``how are you''s with people just to buy a loaf of bread.

Re:But... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year ago | (#43200127)

The whole thing gets even more complicated when you add in the fact that we are rapidly approaching (if not a good distance past) the point that there simply isn't enough work for everyone to do. It doesn't necessarily matter that you might be better at A and I am better at B. If you are better at A, good enough at B and automation has made it cheaper to have one person doing A and B, it may not matter if I am better at B.

That still isn't a knock against Walmart. It is a knock against our collective inability to accept that at some point, we just don't have enough legitimate work for everyone.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43200213)

We will never be at the point where there isn't enough work for people to do. We will only have moments where our system isn't effective enough to keep everyone working productively.

Generally no, not justified at all .... (1)

King_TJ (85913) | about a year ago | (#43200271)

Honestly, I've shopped at Wal-Mart for many years now, because I've always lived conveniently close to one, and it was open late at night when I had time to shop for things.

To a large extent, I think the chain is currently a victim of the "I'm too cool to set foot in there!" attitude. Web sites like "People of Wal-Mart" do their best to poke fun at the type of shoppers found there, while conveniently ignoring the fact that all those people don't just vanish into thin air as soon as they're done with their Wal-Mart shopping trips. I could do a "People of..." site for any of my local movie theaters, or the baseball stadium, or you name it, and find just as many overweight characters with poor taste in clothing or weird hairstyles.

One of the other reasons many people are down on Wal-Mart and their "business practices" is their well known hard-bargaining tactics with the companies they purchase inventory from. Essentially, they offer to buy a massive quantity of a product for what's a fair (even tempting) price per unit when they first want to carry something. In many cases, the manufacturer is ill-equipped to produce that large a quantity, but the owner(s) see dollar-signs and don't want to miss their chance to "hit it big" with a Wal-Mart deal. So they take out a big business loan to put more factories online, hire more employees to assemble the product, etc. and make the first year deal with Wal-Mart. Problem is, Wal-Mart comes back annually, demanding a little bit lower price for the product than they paid the year before. Before long, the company can't even break even selling at the top price Wal-Mart will pay, so they have to cancel their deal -- and now they're left with excess capacity and loans not paid off yet. It often makes them go under, soon afterwards.

IMO though, this really isn't Wal-Mart's problem. They're just being shrewd buyers. Businesses should be aware, by now, of this pitfall when dealing with Wal-Mart and take it into consideration before signing any deals with them. Heck -- if your product is really THAT good? You should be able to sell it elsewhere like Amazon and put the hurt on Wal-Mart because they can't get ahold of it from you to compete.

A lot of the other complaints I hear about unfair labor practices sound to me like issues with individual stores and store managers. Yes, a lot of it is unethical and plain wrong -- but it happens everywhere with big box retailers. It's not like a lot of that really has anything specific to do with Wal-Mart corporate. Bad management is all over the place, and especially prevalent in retail (or food service) - where you don't need lots of education to rise up the ranks to "manager".

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43200273)

Walmart poorly pays it's employees and doesn't work them long enough for other full-time benefits. They use this 'advantage' to undercut nearby stores and drive them out of business. When no one is left, prices increases and the area ends up being worse off than before. That's why people hate Walmart. It's justified.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43198697)

It's powered by Walgreens' survival instincts.

You have to factor in everything from profits carried over from Prohibition era alcohol sales and other "Patent Medicines" and modern meds-gone-bad like OxyContin to the timely use of politically motivated subsidies for renewable energy.

Employee's tears are a foregone conclusion in a system that rests primarily on Capitalist ideals.

Re:But... (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year ago | (#43198721)

OxyContin isn't meds gone bad, but legislation and politics gone worse. Home of the free, where you can get high as long as the "right" people get a cut and make their campaign donations on time. But the medicine itself has its uses as a pain killer, even in semi-sane countries where you can get your high legally.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43198823)

Maybe it's powered by all the energy and materials lost by demolishing the existing store?

Re:But... (1, Insightful)

plover (150551) | about a year ago | (#43199039)

Yeah, I was wondering about the energy break-even point of razing and rebuilding, too. Those bulldozers and steel foundries don't run on unicorn farts.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43199445)

Even if they did, the amount of energy resources needed per unicorn fart is very inefficient. It's pretty much the corn ethanol of imaginary animal farts.

Re:But... (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year ago | (#43198833) it powered by the tears of employees?

Walgreens not Walmart

Re:But... (1)

ItsJustAPseudonym (1259172) | about a year ago | (#43198855)

Good catch.

If it WERE Walmart, I'd have to insert (pithy-reference-to-Soylent-Green) here.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43198913)

It's entirely accurate as Walgreens.

They're a terrible company to work for, for the girl working the register up through store managers. Beyond that (DM's and such) you're pretty much untouchable and make a fuckton of money.

Oh, and the pharmacy techs, that make stupid money to basically bag groceries.

Re:But... (1)

hallkbrdz (896248) | about a year ago | (#43200287)

So... it is Nuclear powered. But then all power, is nuclear.

Geothermal heating? (2)

ThomasBHardy (827616) | about a year ago | (#43198469)

I confess that I'm not really familiar with the technology, but this one gives me pause. They are building a Walgreens on a street corner that will use geothermal energy for heat? Can someone with a bit of knowledge share some insight on exactly how they plan to do that in a corner store?

Re:Geothermal heating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43198505)

Didn't read the article, but does geothermal just mean a ground source heat pump?

Re:Geothermal heating? (3, Insightful)

Latentius (2557506) | about a year ago | (#43198529)

The ground can be used as a source or drain, depending on the season. In winter, it's warmer than the atmosphere, and in summer it's colder.

But yes, essentially just a heat pump.

Re:Geothermal heating? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43198585)

Typically yes. Instead of doing heat exchange with the freezing outside air you are doing it with ~55F degree earth. The key here is the temperature differential. The colder the tempurature of the heat source (outside air or ground) is relative to the desired structure tempurature, the less efficient the process gets.

I have an air exchange heat pump that works very efficiently when the air outside is in the lower to mid 50s. When the tempurature drops to near freezing, I can hear the thing run almost constantly thus the benefit of ground source heat exchange.

Re:Geothermal heating? (2)

plover (150551) | about a year ago | (#43199063)

Actually, your heat pump is probably efficient all the way down to about 20 - 22F. Any colder than that, and it's more efficient to burn natural gas or propane.

Even if it's running 24x7 at 30F, it's using less energy than burning fuel.

Re:Geothermal heating? (1)

jbengt (874751) | about a year ago | (#43198911)


Re:Geothermal heating? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#43199339)

Yes... they are trying to overhype the fact that they are going to start using HVAC systems from the 70's.... The decades old Heat Pump.

Re:Geothermal heating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43198521)

They drill a deep hole (thin) and pump water through it. The deeper you go the warmer it is.

Re:Geothermal heating? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43198533)

They plan to pipe it over from the Town of Perfect

Re:Geothermal heating? (4, Informative)

overshoot (39700) | about a year ago | (#43198579)

The preferred term is "geoexchange" precisely to avoid this confusion.

Re:Geothermal heating? (2)

InterGuru (50986) | about a year ago | (#43199315)

There is lot of confusion, since the term "geothermal" is used for two different technologies. The first is digging deep to hot rocks and using water to extract the heat and doing something with it. This has been used for over a century, but has a lot of problems with it.

The other is going a few feet down to use the ground as a heat source or sink for a heat pump/air conditioner. The latter is what is used now. The problem is that the cost of digging and laying the pipes sometimes cancels out the energy savings.

For more see this comment []

sweet, self powered store (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#43198537)

that never has anything I want so I end up going to the CVS across the street. Never understood how places like kmart and walgreens stay in business, espectally wallgreens, which is a drug store, with less medical supplies in it than the grocery store.

Re:sweet, self powered store (2)

Latentius (2557506) | about a year ago | (#43198575)

It all depends on where you live. CVS isn't located everywhere, for one thing. The Walgreens near where I used to live was always fairly well-stocked, and there was almost always one of those much closer to people than going to a full grocery store.

They serve a purpose, even if it's a limited one.

Re:sweet, self powered store (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43198747)

It all depends on where you live. CVS isn't located everywhere, for one thing.

Everywhere I am, there's a CVS across from a Walgreen's. And if there isn't, there's one being built.

Re:sweet, self powered store (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#43199211)

cvs, right aid, whatever .. and yea they are well stocked, just with never anything I need, they are great if I need as seen on tv crap, paper towels, garbage toys, film processing or want to play "theres only 2 people working here, neither are at the cash register", but when I need some breath right strips and a bottle of HBP cold medicine I can never find it in the whole 3 half isles that dont look like a dollar tree exploded.

Re:sweet, self powered store (1)

ndogg (158021) | about a year ago | (#43199469)

Then you haven't been to very many Walgreens. They're pretty varied in size. Generally they're all going to be much smaller than Wal-mart or some other big box store, but many of the ones I've been to have been pretty well stocked, and at least as large as any CVS--a few a bit larger.

Re:sweet, self powered store (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#43199621)

yea the ones around here are pretty darn large, but CVS has over 1/3 the store dedicated to pharmacy stuff, wallgreens has the back corner and 3 half isles, in every single one I have been to, from here in the south to the Canadian border

CVS has their share of crap too, but it consumes almost all of wallgreens. If I want 6$ box of trash bags, a dancing santa and a hair-dini wallgreens, if I want medicine anyfreakingwhere else BUT wallgreens

wallgreens has 2 isles dedicated to as seen on tv crap, cvs 1 endcap of 1 or 2 isles, we have a as seen on tv store, I dont need one when I am sick, therefore I dont go to wallgreens.

First? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | about a year ago | (#43198605)

There have been plenty of net-zero retail stores over the last few millenia, and I'm sure that someone has some net-positive stores out there now. The net-negative trend is fairly recent.

Meanwhile, in the Car Park... (1)

lobiusmoop (305328) | about a year ago | (#43198639)

Those 20 or so cars pictured in TFA use up those 256,000KWh of saved energy per year. Hmmm...

Re:Meanwhile, in the Car Park... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43198717)

Those cars would have used that energy anyway... in total, it's still a reduction in consumption of produced energy

Lighting Choices Are Not Extraordinary (4, Interesting)

TheStonepedo (885845) | about a year ago | (#43198647)

Daylight harvesting is a nasty misnomer - it really just means turning the artificial light down when natural light makes the space acceptably-bright. This is why Walmart stores built in the past two decades have skylights.
The 2012 IECC requires daylight harvesting or separate switching for daylight zones; complying with new codes is hardly a newsworthy achievement.

LED lighting for commercial spaces just recently reached a point where lumen output, specifically illuminance at the target work plane, can equal that of fluorescent for the same power input.
With a cost roughly double that of fluorescent fixtures, LED fixtures' lamp life allows the owner to spend less on maintenance labor, with a payback on the order of 2-10 years. A company as big as Walgreens would be foolish to use anything other than LED unless they expect to go broke before reaching their ROI.

I like what these guys are doing, but the PR spin is a bit much.

Re:Lighting Choices Are Not Extraordinary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43198669)

What it comes down to is that people (like me) who are getting age-related farsightedness will need to bring a flashlight because lighting levels will be too low to read the print on the items. Gotta love it.

Re:Lighting Choices Are Not Extraordinary (2)

Dan East (318230) | about a year ago | (#43198789)

Why did you fixate on only the lighting part of this story? Of course those two things you chose to comment on are widely used. What type of lighting would you think they'd use?

What about power generation using not one, or two, but three different forms of renewable energy? These walmarts you speak of. Are they generating enough power to be a zero power use facility too?

Re:Lighting Choices Are Not Extraordinary (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year ago | (#43198955)

Power generation is only using 2 forms. The geothermal is only a heat pump for temperature regulation not power generation.

They are still dependant on coal/gas/nuclear of course. Cloudy day + no wind doesn't mean that the store will be closed.

Re:Lighting Choices Are Not Extraordinary (1)

plover (150551) | about a year ago | (#43199527)

Geothermal is indeed an energy extraction method, and the primary difference with wind generation is that it isn't turned into electricity between harvest and delivery. To say it's not "generation" is disingenuous.

The only reason they remain "dependent" on fossil fuels is that it's inefficient and expensive to build a giant storage device to keep the excess power they generate. The grid is a 100% efficient ersatz battery, and the only cost is a meter that spins in both directions. "Net zero" does not necessarily mean "independent".

Re:Lighting Choices Are Not Extraordinary (2, Informative)

TheStonepedo (885845) | about a year ago | (#43199161)

I picked lighting because it was the most-obvious waste of words in the article for the sake of green spin.

The "geothermal" mentioned in TFS (who reads articles, really?) is likely a ground source heat pump rather than a subterranean heat source/sink.
I like the efficiency numbers of such heat pumps, but am concerned about diminishing returns over time in areas with unbalanced heating and cooling seasons.
Evanston, IL is close to Chicago - 6450 HDD65, 750 CDD65 .
Assuming the target temperature is 65F (although 70-75 is more realistic in the US) and ignoring heat generation within the space (minimized by using "green" electronics and lighting), the pump could be pulling heat from the ground about 8 times as often as it puts heat into the ground.
This would tend to cool that ground over time, barring external influences.
The well field in what should be a heat source will be warmer than the ambient air on cool days at first, then on cold days after a few cycles, then only on the coldest days.
Once that has happened, they may as well have chosen an air-source heat pump (current models meet their design heat output to around 4F without significant efficiency loss) and foregone the cost of wells.

"Ultra-high efficiency refrigeration" sounds pretty cool.
I was under the impression that regulation of refrigerants to minimize ozone depletion (while in turn increasing global warming potential, but that's a different conversation) led to refrigerant cocktails operating at higher pressures so that their cycles would be useful in temperature ranges suitable for cooling food.
Do they have air-source heat inverters with food coolers as a source and HVAC as a sink?
I almost want to read TFA...

Re:Lighting Choices Are Not Extraordinary (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year ago | (#43198867)

It's a corporation so PR spin is a way of life. Doing it without spin would be like asking a crack addict to go cold turkey.

Re:Lighting Choices Are Not Extraordinary (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#43199371)

"This is why Walmart stores built in the past two decades have skylights."

And lowest bidder programmed light harvesting systems that dont have enough dwell time so they spend more money on partly cloudy days as the fluorescent lights turn on and off every 60-120 seconds. They have systems that are cool, but the companies they hire to install them dont have a competent programmer to set them up right.

Re:Lighting Choices Are Not Extraordinary (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43199407)

LED fixtures' lamp life allows the owner to spend less on maintenance labor, with a payback on the order of 2-10 years. A company as big as Walgreens would be foolish to use anything other than LED unless they expect to go broke before reaching their ROI.

If you don't have significant cost in changing bulbs, LEDs are generally not cheapest. I've seen a few comparisons with LEDs, and they tend to find the result from the company that commissioned them. Every one I've seen favor LEDs does not take cost of capital into account. "If you have the cash to do either and would put it in a 0% account if you didn't spend it" isn't a realistic assumption for a company build. Florescent is often cheapest because the fixtures are so cheap. The main time LEDs are winning out over industrial use is street lights. Why? Because changing a bulb is more than $1000, even if the bulb was free. So the advantage goes to LED, not so much for electricity cost, but bulb life. LEDs have had sufficient lumen output for a long time. The problem is people demand that they be put in like regular bulbs. Getting links of the LED strips and laying them out side by side as dense as you can get them will give you sunlight-level brightness. But that's not how designers, architects, and builders think. They want LED bulbs, which are harder to manage, as you introduce heat and density problems when you ask an array of LEDs to exist in a point-source. The funny thing is they then put those point-sources as high up and spread out as possible to approximate a single illuminated surface. But they can't comprehend a single illuminated surface.

Pack the ceiling with 50% brightness, and save even more. In the display cases, have strips of light illuminating the product from above. I've already seen LED spot lamps in jewelry cases, but the idea doesn't seem to have taken off. LEDs are more versatile and flexible, but less suited for approximating a close point-source of light, yet that's almost exclusively what they are asked to do. Even when it's to them move that point source as far away from the person, and project light in the opposite direction of the area to be lit, then reflect it down (putting a LED bulb in a ceiling fixture with reflector). If you want them concentrated, put them in the frosted dome-fixtures.

LEDs suck, but mainly because the people designing them and using them don't use them well.

Re:Lighting Choices Are Not Extraordinary (1)

TheStonepedo (885845) | about a year ago | (#43199849)

As an MEP guy I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
Will I see you at next year's ASHRAE or LightFair conference?

Re:Lighting Choices Are Not Extraordinary (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43200219)

No, I'm a network designer/engineer for an ISP/telco. I just also happen to be a fan of cars, and spend 10-20 hours a week studying automotive engineering about the time LEDs started to see some use in cars. It was always frustrating. Do you remember the CMHSL (center mounted high stop lamp)? The studies that led to that proved it wouldn't work. The "best" solution for the problem would be body colored panels that lit up red. The human factors indicated that people ignored repeated input. If the guy's brakes came on 10 times a minute for the last 30 minutes in traffic, your ability to respond to that diminishes. But a "novel" light placement, like the CMHSL would break that expectation. The problem is if you put them on every car, you get the same result. But if you make brake lights a larger section that's 75% lit up, and change the pixels lit every time the brake is applied, then you will shock the person behind every time.

But, apparently nobody in the auto industry (or government mandating the change) was interested in solving the human factors problem, and just wanted to look proactive, so CMHSL it is.

But I went from near professional-level interest in automotive engineering to strong interest in human factors to passing interest in lighting, which apparently puts me way ahead of most in lighting. Well, that and the engineering degree so that I understand heat and head dissipation and such.

But yes, many of the technically good ways of delivering LED lights look like bad sci-fi imitation. Like the back-lit frosted glass wall. And I hate sconces.

Re:Lighting Choices Are Not Extraordinary (1)

ThorGod (456163) | about a year ago | (#43199431)

Meh, why not let them spin it to their heart's content? I mean, seriously, where's the harm?

It's not like this is an oil company that should be rightly scorned for PR spin covering up gross abuse.

Harvest energy from your customers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43198655)

'The human body generates more bio-electricity than a 120-volt battery and over 25,000 B.T.U.'s of body heat. We are, as an energy source, easily renewable and completely recyclable.'

What could possibly go wrong?

Go Cat's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43198687)

go cat's

Re:Go Cat's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43199201)

seriously go cats
def a win

Kilowatts? (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#43198689)

Engineering estimates suggest that the location will produce 256,000 kilowatts per year while using just 200,000.

Shouldn't that be kilowatt hours? Even if it was kwhrs the numbers are suspect. 200,000/ 365 days per year / 18 hours (12 hours open 12 hours closed using half power) = 30 Kw used in any given hour the store is open. That is equivalent to 300 100 watt incandescent bulbs. I would think a building would require much more than that.

Re:Kilowatts? (1, Informative)

swalve (1980968) | about a year ago | (#43198769)

Kilowatt hours are a rate, kilowatts are an amount. A 1 kw/h device uses 24 kilowatts per day.

Re:Kilowatts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43198851)

Erm, what? I think you have your units mixed up.
1 W = 1 J/s.

Re:Kilowatts? (4, Informative)

Kufat (563166) | about a year ago | (#43198865)

You've got it backward, I'm afraid. Watts are a measure of power, while watt-hours are a measure of energy (power times time.) A device that uses one kW of power while operating uses 24 kWh of energy per day of operation

Re:Kilowatts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43198877)

Kilowatt hours are a rate, kilowatts are an amount. A 1 kw/h device uses 24 kilowatts per day.

No. Kilowatts are a rate, kilowatt-hours are an amount. A watt is a joule per second, so energy per time. Energy per time multiplied by time is energy.

Re:Kilowatts? (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#43198897)

Wrong. a 1kw/h device uses approximately 24kw/h per day (leap-seconds, daylight savings, etc.)
A kilowatt is an instantaneous measurement of 1000 watts. A device that uses an average of 1kW over a 1 hour period is said to be "1 kW/hr"

Re:Kilowatts? (4, Informative)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#43199143)

A watt is calculated by volts (a measurement of electrical potential) time amps (a measurement of resistance). Notice that there is no time value in that calculation.

To correct your calculation;
a 1 kilowatt device used constantly for 24 hours uses 24 kilowatt hours. Notice watts time hours equals watt hours. The kilo is there just to reduce the number of zeros needed. for example a 1 watt device used for one thousand hours uses 1000 watt hours or 1 kilowatt hour.

Re:Kilowatts? (1)

germansausage (682057) | about a year ago | (#43199723)

Amps are current, not resistance. But you knew that, right? The rest is correct.

Re:Kilowatts? (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#43199827)

yeah I kinds screwed that up but I got the second part right.

net zero power != net zero costs. (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#43198711)

I just hope their local utility discounts the electricity they have to buy to pay for the infrastructure to distribute power to and from the store and the generation capacity needed to cover if the store goes off line for some reason. Most utilities do this but possibly not to the level required.

If one has a net zero cost for a power bill they better be putting in significantly more power that they are getting out.

Who's paying the upfront? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43198725)

I'll bet if I had all the resources that NYSE:WAG has I could build a net-zero energy store too. Build a store that is standalone profitable AND net-zero energy and I'll take notice.

Somehow methinks that (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#43198729)

Just in case they will have the 100kW generator in the back...

Re:Somehow methinks that (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#43198909)

To do anything else would be stupid.

local/state/federal incentives? (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | about a year ago | (#43198733)

maybe the taxpayers are paying for this?

Bad headline again. (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#43198739)

Walgreens To Build First Self-Powered Retail Store

Notice there is no mention of electricity storage in the article. On a dark calm night the store will be drawing power from the grid and will not be self powered. Net zero power is not self power. To be self power they would have to be off the grid.

Re:Bad headline again. (1)

swalve (1980968) | about a year ago | (#43198779)

The grid is the energy storage. Every watt they pump out into the grid is a watt that doesn't need to get generated by a generator somewhere. The energy is "stored" in the fuel that isn't burnt.

Re:Bad headline again. (1)

MooseMiester (1412661) | about a year ago | (#43198995)

Yep! So the solar power, created by solar panel companies in China using all kinds of noxious crap that they dump into the stream, generate a tiny fraction of electricity, that replaces something else, that is generated here in the U.S. in a highly regulated, environmentally monitored kind of way.

To a progressive environmentalist, this is called "forward progress toward saving the earth"

To a marketer, these people are known as suckers who is eager to part with his money for high margin crap as long as it has the word "Green" on the box.

Re:Bad headline again. (2)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#43199323)

If you've got a problem with that, perhaps you should be looking at the conservatives that insist upon subsidizing oil, but refuse to subsidize solar, and the numerous free trade agreements that make it hard for US factories to compete with foreign ones.

Solar is solar, and ultimately any progress made their is a step in the right direction, even if it isn't perfect.

Re:Bad headline again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43199609)

Better than the coal and the mountain top removal crap, natural gas and the fracking crap, nuclear and the waste crap, or oil and the spill crap. And it has to continue on and on.

Solar isn't that bad and can be made cleanly. Especially compared with the other choices.

Re:Bad headline again. (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43199653)

To a marketer, these people are known as suckers who is eager to part with his money for high margin crap as long as it has the word "Green" on the box.

Wait, so is China dumping solar panels at below cost, or are solar panels being sold with massive markups? I guess it just depends on which lie fits the situation best. That's the great thing about conflicting lies, when someone spends so much time and effort proving one false, their statements can be taken out of context to help support the other lie.

The simple fact is, solar generates more power than it takes to make the devices to collect it. It is a net benefit. Nothing has ever disproved that simple statement.

Re:Bad headline again. (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#43199101)

The point is that when the building is producing excess electricity it is powering the grid. When it is not producing electricity it is being powered by the grid. Even by your definition, the fuel where the energy is being stored is not part of the building therefore the building is relying on something other than itself for power some of the time. Self power is self contained and does not rely on a power plant hundreds of miles away to provide electricity.

The secret of self powers store revealed! (4, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year ago | (#43198753)

In a shocking development, the NBC has learned that Walgreens is installing a "cushioning" carpet which is not just any simple cushiony carpet. It has tubes buried in it, and as the shoppers walk on it they squeeze these tubes and the air gets compressed and it turns a turbine that produces electricity. Mr Rube Goldberg, VP Energy Harvesting Division of Walgreens has conceded that the whole idea was his personal invention.

Re:The secret of self powers store revealed! (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about a year ago | (#43200201)

as the shoppers walk on it they squeeze these tubes and the air gets compressed and it turns a turbine that produces electricity.

Unfortunately truth is stranger than fiction. This is the first linked I picked off google. The technology has been around for a while.
  Power-generating tiles to light Olympic walkway using footsteps []

How does the stuff get into the shop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43198799)

How does the stuff get into the shop?

One step at a time plz (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43198853)

One step at a time please. The story about a self-powered supply chain may come later.

Re:One step at a time plz (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43199679)

If you can't solve everything, you shouldn't try to solve anything.

Maybe it says something about the grid? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43198813)

Out of curiosity, I pondered about the quality of service in terms of grid power at that location. So I did a little bit of Google-fu...

Evanston does make it to the first page on the list of Chicago suburbs with a lot of power outages. [] (And that's being sorted by total outages.) So maybe it says something about how well ComEd is doing in Evanston? (Or at least that particular neighborhood where that Walgreens is located.)

Considering that many expensive drugs have to be refrigerated, cash registers go down, etc. I could imagine there would be problems if they had to close up a busy high-volume store during prime hours on a random basis every other week because of unreliable power. In which case there would be much more incentive to go off-grid than "being green".

Proof that we are all getting dumber (1)

MooseMiester (1412661) | about a year ago | (#43198967)

This is proof positive that marketing has reached new pinnacles of preying on idiots.

A "green" store - filled with plastic products, synthetic cosmetics, crap from china, etc. will bring in idiots who so desperately need to feel good about themselves they will actually think they are doing the planet a favor by buying whatever. Really, have you seem most of the crap for sale in drugstore? How can any of this junk be considered good for the environment in any way?

The guys in the boardroom, marking up the same old crap 100% by slapping a "green" label on the box, are laughing their asses off while going home to their Scrooge McDuck money piles.

Pathetic beyond pathetic.

Re:Proof that we are all getting dumber (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#43199337)

So, the fact that they're working to reduce their emission is somehow offset by the consumers' lack of interest in locally made items produced in a more green manner?

Because obviously, if they don't solve all their problems all at once, they're just greedy bastards.

Re:Proof that we are all getting dumber (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43199691)

So progress is bad, unless it proceeds on your preferred schedule. Tell me, what would you do? As the store owner, the store itself is one thing you have 100% under your control. But no, we'll ignore that and instead worry about a few ingredients in a few products. How is that better? Or was your whole post just an excuse for a China bash?

It's cool that they're trying but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43199017)

I'd be a bit more impressed if they weren't tearing down an existing Walgreens to do it, as reuse would probably saved a good deal of energy itself and they're building new locations in the Chicago area anyway (none with this kind of net zero energy use, but some with better exterior design or the reuse of beautiful buildings). Moving the store up to the street to encourage customers arriving by foot or bike or transit would be nice too; parking lots and drive throughs aren't exactly what I'd call green.

Re:It's cool that they're trying but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43199327)

god help a tree hugger that has to walk a little more while on their walk


Pretty Danged Neat (1)

Ferretman (224859) | about a year ago | (#43199377)

I'll be curious at the cost-per-foot for the construction and their solution for handling the geothermal pumps. I had a hard time designing a geothermal that my solar could drive.


This might be good for business (2)

gstrickler (920733) | about a year ago | (#43199697)

I mean, Wind Turbine Syndrome [] can make their customers ill while they shop, creating even more business. Of course, health insurance rates might rise. /sarcasm

Air conditioning? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43200133)

How do they plan to run the air conditioning during a hot summer day? On a windless + cloudy day, 30kW won't come out of thin air.

LOL (1)

p51d007 (656414) | about a year ago | (#43200217)

Good luck....5 bucks says it will cost more to keep it maintained, than any "savings" or "no footprint" they claim it will have.
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