Sunday, October 25, 2009

Solar Chipotle

Chipotle Mexican Grill Plans Major Solar Power Initiative.

Chipotle has announced that it is partnering with Houston-based Standard Renewable Energy (SRE) to install solar panels on approximately 75 Chipotle restaurants over the next year. In total, Chipotle's distributed systems will produce 500 kilowatt hours, making Chipotle the largest solar energy producer in the restaurant industry.

“Our effort to change the way people think about and eat fast food began with our commitment to serving food made with ingredients from more sustainable sources, and that same kind of thinking now influences all areas of our business,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. “Today, we’re following a similar path in the way we design and build restaurants, looking for more environmentally friendly building materials and systems that make our restaurants more efficient.”

Solar panel installations are already underway in Denver, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. Markets and restaurants where solar may be used is based on a formula that includes a restaurant’s electricity consumption, local utility solar rebates, and access to sunlight.

The intent of Chipotle’s solar initiative is to reduce the restaurants’ traditional energy consumption during peak hours for energy use, when pressure on the energy grid is greatest. The amount of power produced through the solar program will eliminate more than 41 million pounds of CO2 emissions.

In addition to this new solar panel initiative, Chipotle was the first restaurant ever to receive Platinum level LEED (R) certification – the highest level – by the U.S. Green Building Council for its Gurnee, Ill., restaurant that features an on-site wind turbine and an underground cistern to harvest rainwater for irrigation. Chipotle also has a LEED certified restaurant in Long Island, N.Y., and a third restaurant that is pending certification in Minneapolis. All of Chipotle’s new restaurants include some environmentally friendly materials or systems, including low VOC paints and sealants, recycled drywall and stainless steel, photocell light controls that regulate electric lighting based on availability of natural lighting, or low-E window glass that helps reduce heating and cooling needs.

Chipotle opened its first restaurant in 1993 and currently operates nearly 900 restaurants. Founded in 2006, Standard Renewable Energy (SRE) is the nation’s largest Distributed Energy Services Company (DESCO) and leading provider of energy efficiency and on-site renewable energy solutions for homes, businesses and government entities.

Links:
Chipotle
http://www.chipotle.com

Standard Renewable Energy (SRE)
http://www.sre3.com

Via:
Green Energy News
http://www.green-energy-news.com

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