Walgreens opens net-zero energy store

EVANSTON, Ill. — Walgreens broke new ground with its store here, which stands as the first net-zero energy retail store in the United States. The 14,000-sq.-ft. space combines a variety of renewable energy technologies, including two wind turbines and 850 solar panels, to generate as much energy as possible. Eight geothermal wells burrowed deep into the ground help heat and cool the building, whose roof was oriented to maximize the amount of solar energy generated on site. The store was the winner of the Sustainable Store of the Year category in DSN sister publication Chain Store Age’s 32nd annual Retail Store of the Year Competition. With its array of energy-generating and energy-saving technologies, Walgreens Evanston is expected to produce energy equal to or greater than it consumes, an environmental milestone for a retailer.