By Emile Armarotico
This spring, National Co-op Grocers recognized Ashland Food Co-op as a Co+efficient Sustainability Star for our excellent sustainability efforts.
Our Sustainability Vision aims at being carbon neutral by 2030. We’ve taken a great stride toward this by installing a 39 kilowatt solar electric system on our rooftop with the capacity to generate approximately 7% of our electricity usage. The cost was partially offset by a $27,000 REAP (Rural Energy for America Program) Grant.
We removed and donated an existing 4.6 kilowatt system to the Ashland Emergency Food Bank. This donation will offset a measure of their electrical consumption required for refrigeration.
This fall we’ll install an additional 12 kilowatt solar electric system on our south-facing warehouse to generate energy to run a pair of our large coolers. With this, we will have covered the majority of available space to capture solar energy. The Co-op hopes to invest in the dream of an off-campus solar electric system to capture even more of the sun’s energy!