Illinois Governor Touts Geo April 19 – As part of “Earth Month” in Illinois, Gov. Patrick Quinn toured a Walgreens drugstore in Oak Park, IL, which features the first geothermal energy system used in a chain drugstore in the country. The system, which went live when the store opened last October, has reduced the store’s expected energy usage by 60%. “This type of system makes a lot of sense here in the Midwest. The ability to heat to room-temperature from 55 degrees rather than from 10 degrees, or cool it from 98 degrees, is saving a lot of energy,” said Quinn. “We are proud to showcase our commitment to the environment,” said Walgreens President and CEO Greg Wasson, who accompanied the governor on the tour. “Geothermal energy is an important way we can reduce our carbon footprint, and through the innovative, sustainable design of this store, we have made it a reality.”
Walgreens worked on its Oak Park location with Evanston, IL-based Indie Energy, which specializes in designing and installing geothermal systems. The company’s Smart GeothermalTM technology system significantly cuts heating and cooling costs and helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Oak Park Walgreens geothermal system harnesses the earth’s heat utilizing a network of four closed-loop boreholes installed to depths of 650 feet, and a heat exchange system with the building that is controlled by Indie Energy EnergyLoopTM technology. A water-based heat transfer liquid exchanges heating and cooling energy with the earth, which provides a constant temperature of 55˚F. Inside the store, the geothermal heat pump and refrigeration systems pull heating energy from the fluid, or reject heat to the fluid to cool. The EnergyLoopTM system monitors and optimizes this exchange in real-time to provide the maximum energy efficiency.
Wasson said, “This type of system makes a lot of sense here in the Midwest. The ability to heat to room-temperature from 55 degrees rather than from 10 degrees, or cool it from 98 degrees, is saving a lot of energy.” An informational kiosk at the store shows customers energy usage and savings from the geothermal system in real-time.