The organic market, which has stores in Maryland and Virginia, installed a solar photovoltaic system on the roof of its newest store in Waldorf, Maryland. The system, installed by SolarCity, is expected to meet about 15 percent of the store’s electricity demand.
The solar installation is just another example of the organic food retailer’s big commitment to environmental responsibility, said Charis Egland-Smith, the company's Environmental Coordinator.
All of the company’s locations include energy-saving features. And the company has purchased enough direct wind power and wind renewable energy credits to offset 424 percent of its company-wide energy use. Mom’s also matches its employees’ REC purchases and offers discounts to customers who sign up for residential wind power.
“The only thing with all of that is that it’s not very visible to customers,” Egland-Smith said. “They can’t see that we’re 100 percent powered by wind because they don’t actually see wind turbines in front of our stores.”
Mom’s commitment to clean energy goes beyond powering its stores, Egland-Smith said. The company wants to be a leader and a thought-provoker.
“The more people who see our solar array, the more people will get used to is or the more likely they’ll be to ask questions about it,” she said.
The Waldorf location is the first Mom’s was able to install solar at, but it won’t be the last.
“We tried to do it in a few other locations,” Egland-Smith said. “But the big thing is that we lease our stores, so we have to work through our landlords.”
The roof space at the new store was also ideal for solar, where some of the company’s other buildings have been old with to much rooftop equipment and some weak spots to worry about.
But she said Mom’s is going to work on installing more solar at different stores, especially in Maryland, where the incentives make it more economical.
“Ideally, we’d like to have some form of solar at all the store, either on the roof or near the store somewhere.,” Egland-Smith said.