PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Apr. 5, 2023) – United Natural Foods, Inc. (NYSE: UNFI) (the “Company” or “UNFI”), today announced the completion of its largest solar array investment to date at its Howell, N.J. Distribution Center. The 3.2-megawatt roof mounted solar array is the company’s eighth solar installation and is nearly three times larger than any previous UNFI installation. UNFI also plans to complete LED energy lighting upgrades at 33 distribution centers that, once complete, are estimated to save the Company approximately $15 million over a 10-year period.
The rooftop array contains 7,171 solar panels and was developed to generate an amount of renewable electricity approximately equivalent to the annualized energy demand at the Howell distribution center. The system is projected to generate an estimated 3.8-million-kilowatt hours of electricity per year, preventing approximately 2,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from being released into the atmosphere annually. The system’s environmental benefits are equivalent to the emissions of 524 U.S. homes' electricity use for one year according to the Environmental Protection Agency Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.
“Energy efficiency is an important focus area for our Better for All Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategy and we are excited to see the Howell solar array come online,” said UNFI Chief Executive Officer, Sandy Douglas. “This newest solar array, coupled with our current LED lighting projects at a majority of our distribution centers are expected to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions year-over-year and represent a milestone on our path to building a food system that is better for our people, communities, and the planet. These efforts are also expected to reduce our operational costs and help us become more efficient, and that’s a positive for our business.”
UNFI worked with PowerFlex, a national provider of intelligent solar, storage, and electric vehicle charging solutions for commercial and industrial customers, to complete the installation of the Howell solar array.
“We are proud to partner with UNFI to make their operations more sustainable through renewable energy,” said Raphael Declercq, CEO of PowerFlex. “By generating clean, solar energy onsite, UNFI demonstrates their strong commitment to building a healthier community and environment for all.”We're excited to share some of the press we've received for the project below: