Fresh & Easy Opens Store Using CO2 Refrigeration

El Segundo, CA: Earlier this month, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market opened the first grocery store in Southern California to use naturally occurring carbon dioxide (CO2) refrigeration. The Rosemead store is also the first Fresh & Easy store to be GreenChill certified.

In addition to mounting federal pressures, states are now implementing their own rules and regulations to address global warming. California recently enacted rules that will require operators of large refrigeration systems to prevent refrigerant leaks beginning in 2012. These rules will require refrigeration system owners to monitor their systems for leaks, repair the leaks, and file reports with the state.

"Refrigeration drives nearly half of a supermarket's energy use, can significantly contribute to its carbon footprint, and can increase maintenance costs," states Brad Howard, Chairman and CEO of Source Refrigeration & HVAC. "As a result, we are working closely with our customers both to improve efficiencies and to reduce energy and emissions as they consider and deploy new technologies."

The CO2 refrigeration system in Rosemead, one of only four in the United States, is designed to reduce the impact of the store's refrigeration on the ozone layer by about 70%, as compared to industry standards. By utilizing a natural refrigerant, the system has an approximately 50 percent lower Global Warming Potential than traditional refrigerants.

"Fresh & Easy has worked hard to lessen our impact on the environment and the work done with our refrigeration systems has contributed significantly to our goals," says Roberto Munoz, Fresh & Easy Director of Neighborhood Affairs. "Source Refrigeration has been an important partner in helping us find innovative ways to achieve our environmental mission."

"CO2 refrigeration systems are relatively new, and very few companies have experience installing and servicing these new stores," Howard explains. "Source has expanded its expertise to include the engineering, integration, installation and servicing of these new CO2 systems. We are committed to being on the leading edge of new technologies as they come to market."

Source Refrigeration & HVAC acted as the engineers of record for the refrigeration, HVAC and EMS field applications for Fresh & Easy's sub-critical cascade CO2 refrigeration system.

"Source specializes in optimizing system performance while reducing the use of energy and impact on the environment," noteds Lauren Abrams, President and COO of Source Refrigeration & HVAC. "While we offer services to help our customers create new store designs and to remodel or upgrade existing stores with more advanced technology, we also realize that the vast majority of stores need to operate today with the existing technology already in place. For that reason, more than half of our business is focused on optimizing and sustaining operations of existing technology in existing stores."

Source also assisted with California Title 24 compliance and ensured compliance with GreenChill installation criteria.

"Our goal is to establish long term partnerships with our customers and to deliver results that improve our environment and our customers' bottom line," Abrams concludes. "We are proud to be a partner with Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market and to have managed the CO2 integration and installation process at their new Rosemead store."