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Behind the First Net-Zero Store in the U.S.

First-of-its-kind Walgreens aims for dual building certification


First-of-its-kind Walgreens aims for dual building certification.

Over 800 solar panels will help generate electricity for a planned first-in-the-nation net-zero energy retail store.

A new Walgreens store under construction in Evanston, IL, may soon become the first net-zero energy retail store in the nation.

According to engineering estimates, the store will use a projected 200,000 kWh of electricity annually but will generate about 256,000 kWh through a combination of on-site generation and ultra-efficient equipment, including:

  • Over 800 rooftop solar panels
  • Two wind turbines
  • Geothermal heating and cooling with piping below the store
  • LED lighting
  • Daylight harvesting
  • Carbon dioxide refrigerant for heating, cooling, and refrigeration equipment
  • Energy-efficient building materials

The store’s performance will be measured for a year after opening to determine whether the store meets its net-zero energy goal. The company also plans to obtain LEED Platinum status and Living Building Challenge certification.