West / Regional Reports

Kroger Unveils Clean Energy System Powered by Food Waste

Solution to Convert Waste to Energy Implemented at California Distribution Center

August 26, 2013
CINCINNATI and LOS ANGELES — The Kroger Co. has unveiled a clean energy production system that will convert food that cannot be sold or donated into clean energy to help power its Ralphs/Food 4 Less distribution center in Compton, Calif.

The anaerobic conversion system will process more than 55,000 tons of organic food waste into renewable energy annually, providing power for the more than 650,000-square-foot distribution center. By diverting that food waste — the equivalent of 150 tons per day — the system will also reduce area truck trips by more than 500,000 miles each year. The Kroger Recovery System uses a sophisticated process to convert the carbon in organic material into a renewable source of methane.

“We are committed to finding solutions for food waste and clean energy, and we believe this is a meaningful step forward,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s president and chief operating officer. “Investing in this project is a good business decision for Kroger and, most importantly, an extraordinary opportunity to benefit the environment. We want to thank Governor Brown and his team at CalRecycle and CalEPA, the City of Compton, the SCAQMD, and our partners at FEED for making this renewable energy project a reality.”

How It Works

The Kroger Recovery System utilizes anaerobic digestion, a naturally occurring process, to transform organic food that cannot be sold or donated, and onsite food-processing effluent, into renewable biogas. This biogas is then turned into power for onsite operations. The process is carried out in an enclosed, oxygen-free environment, which means the process takes up less space and generates no odors. The system will provide enough renewable biogas to offset more than 20 percent of the energy demand of the Ralphs/Food 4 Less distribution center. Combining the use of renewable energy power with more than 150 zero emission fuel cell forklifts, the Ralphs/Food4Less distribution center is now one of the greenest and most efficient.

The Kroger Recovery System is designed and operated by FEED Resource Recovery Inc., a clean technology company founded in Boston in 2007. For more information, visit www.feedresourcerecovery.com.

Publication date: 8/26/2013

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