Walgreens To Build First Self-Powered Retail Store with Solar, Wind, and Geothermal Technologies

We hear about green construction 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.

Artist's rendering of the green Walgreens

What’s truly impressive about this retail store is that it will actually generate more power than it consumes. Engineering estimates suggest that the location will produce 256,000 kilowatt hours per year while using just 200,000.

“We are investing in developing a net-zero store so we can learn the best way to bring these features to our other stores,” said Walgreens vice president of facilities development Thomas Connolly in a statement. “Because we operate 8,000 stores, we believe our pursuit of green technology can have a significant positive impact on the nation’s environment.”

Kudos and good luck to Walgreens; hopefully this innovative store will help pave the way for more retailers to follow suit. And we’ll resist the urge to say that this company is putting the “green” back in “Walgreens”; we wouldn’t dare make that pun.