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The New York Times reports on how Walgreen "is building an experimental 'net zero energy store' just north of Chicago that it hopes will produce more energy than it consumes ... Alternative energy equipment at the store under construction in Evanston, Ill., includes more than 800 solar panels on the roof, two 35-foot wind turbines and a geothermal energy system dug hundreds of feet beneath the store’s foundation.

"Walgreen building planners and engineers estimate the net zero store will use about 200,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity over a year’s time while generating about 256,000 kilowatt-hours during the same period."

The story notes that "the net zero concept is part of the retail giant’s overall sustainability plan to reduce energy use by 20 percent by 2020 across all of its more than 8,000 stores, including Duane Reade stores in the New York area."

While the company is not specific about the financials, expectations are that it will cost twice as much to build the new store as a normal unit, but that "executives expect to recoup the extra costs from reductions in the store’s energy use, tax credits and rebates from utility companies."
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