Minister Jane Philpott (centre) with representatives from Neelands, S2E and Longo’s stand by the unique carbon dioxide refrigeration and heat reclaim system that helps power the new Longo’s in Stouffville.

The soon to be opened Stouffville Longo’s, at 5769 Main St., is not just a big deal for local grocery shoppers. The 40,000 sq. ft. site will be the first sustainable building of its kind in the country, achieving near net-zero energy consumption.

 

Joined by members of the Longo’s family, Needlands Group and s2e Technologies, federal Minister Jane Philpott was on hand for a tour of the new facility that, thanks in part to a $1.44 million donation from the federal government, will be able to not only generate more than 65 per cent of it’s own power through solar energy panels on the roof walls and even a car park canopy, but also  be able to function off-grid should a disaster shut down the traditional power grid. It will not only mean that refrigerated food won’t be ruined, but residents will have a source for necessities in natural disaster emergencies.

Philpott stressed the federal donation required Longo’s to use the funds specifically for physical energy improvement elements of the new store, not the day-to-day activities. She did note the Stouffville Longo’s is possibly the most sustainable supermarket in Canada.

S2e (sun-to-earth) vice-president Ady Vyas gave a tour of the facility, which is completely lit with state-of-the-art LED lighting and explained how much of the energy typically lost is captured and reused through use of a carbon dioxide refrigeration and heat reclaim system, allowing a 35 per cent reduction of energy used. Vyas expressed hope that a retail store of this size will help encourage “the business confidence to adopt these design strategies as a standard going forward.”

 

The Longo’s store that anchors the newly-developed site is expected to open by the end of October and will bring 160 new jobs to the community.