Another business is taking advantage of the fertile legislative environment in New Jersey for solar-electric systems. Texas-based Whole Foods Market, an organic and natural foods supermarket, has introduced solar energy as a power source in its Edgewater, New Jersey store by installing solar panels made by BP Solar on the facility’s roof.Edgewater, New Jersey – January 27, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] “As a company committed to helping preserve our planet’s natural resources, natural solar power made sense both from an economic and an environmental standpoint,” said David Lannon, Whole Foods Market, northeast region president. “We plan to continue to investigate opportunities to install solar power in other northeast region stores.” According to Whole Foods Market, the cost effective approach to energy efficiency and sustainability reflects the company motto “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet,” by highlighting the company’s mission to find success in customer satisfaction and wellness, employee excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support, and environmental sustainability. “BP Solar’s program with SunEdison makes it easy for all commercial customers to follow Whole Foods Market’s lead and make the change to solar power,” said BP Solar Director of Business Development Clive Sinnott. “It takes advantage of forward-thinking incentive programs, like those in New Jersey, which makes solar power cost-effective and offers a unique solution to our energy challenges. BP Solar provides a full service turn-key solar solution, which is financed through SunEdison. Thus, commercial customers like Whole Foods Market get a guaranteed fixed rate solar electricity price with no upfront costs.” Whole Foods Market, BP Solar and SunEdison worked together to create a 120 kW solar electric system to power the Edgewater store. The system will meet more than 20 percent of Edgewater store’s needs. The solar array, composed of BP Solar panels covering 14,000 square feet on the store’s roof, turns the sun’s free energy into usable power. These solar panels are electrically interconnected to Xantrex PV GTI series inverters, which feed high quality AC power to the store’s existing electrical system and the utility grid at large. Whole Foods Market’s new solar electrical system is expected to create significant economic and environmental benefits. In addition to an attractive amortization period, the system will produce and save more than 2.2 million kWhs over 20 years; result in more than 1,650 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions avoided, the equivalent of removing 440 cars from the roadways; and reduce the impact on our country’s power grids “This project demonstrates that it is possible to save money while helping the environment and promoting clean energy,” said Mark Wilkins, Edgewater Whole Foods Market Store Team Leader. “This is a win-win for Whole Foods Market, its customers, the community and the environment. “We look forward to sharing this technology with other stores throughout the country as we continue to strive to find energy from renewable clean sources.” The state of New Jersey has made solar power more attractive by offering rebates for businesses interested in installing solar panels. The state’s Clean Energy Program allocates approximately US$35 million per year for homeowners and businesses to install solar and other renewable energy systems. Solar energy now makes more sense than ever and New Jersey is emerging as a global leader in clean energy.