The Greening of McQuades

Hometown market employs cutting edge technology.

The national enthusiasm for “going green” has spurred Michael McQuade, General Manager of McQuades marketplace, to update its presence in its community with a multi-million dollar renovation program at their Main Street store. The renovation includes the installation of state-of-the-art equipment that is environmentally friendly and utilizes energy saving technology.

With the project nearing completion, McQuade who owns sister stores in Jamestown, RI and Mystic, CT said the new heating and refrigeration systems are not only more effective and efficient, but contribute to an eye pleasing atmosphere. They have a trim modern look while providing fresher, longer lasting refrigerated food, reducing the stores impact on the environment by reducing its carbon footprint.

“We believe McQuade’s Westerly store will see an estimated reduction of nearly 13 million pounds in its total carbon footprint. That’s equivalent to removing 1069 passenger cars from the road per year” said Scott Martin, director of sustainable technologies for Hill Phoenix of Conyers, GA., a leading designer and manufacturer of supermarket refrigeration systems.

McQuade said innovative strategies include reclaiming heat from a refrigeration loop, and using a propylene glycol that uses so much less electricity it runs on low to medium control settings and has realized a 95 percent reduction in the use of Freon coolant. The computer complex on the store rooftop monitor the compressors to determine the horsepower needed to insure uniform temperature and switches horsepower needs back and forth using 15HP, 10HP or 7HP motors.

To increase product variety, many more refrigeration cases have been added, but with energy savings in mind. Dairy products, such as yogurt, butter and cheese, once in open cases are now behind doors. “We were wasting energy”, McQuade said. “We tested the change in the Mystic store first.” All domestic hot water is pre-heated by the heat byproduct from the refrigeration system. Store heating and dehumidification are also pre-heated by the refrigeration system.

Another energy-saving measure soon to be tested at the Mystic store involves the installation of solar panels. These panels will provide 153 kilowatts of energy for store use. If the move is positive, the panels will be installed on the Westerly and Jamestown stores.

The lighting system has also been updated from the inefficient T12 fluorescent lighting to T5’s and T8’s, which are more energy efficient.

Gloria Russel
Sun Staff Writer