By Angelique Soenarie and Ryan Randazzo for The Arizona Republic
Retailers in Arizona are slowly turning to solar energy in an effort to reduce climate change, keep energy costs low and create goodwill with their customers.
Fry’s Food, for example, is piloting a solar program with a PowerParasol at its Phoenix store on Bell Road near Interstate 17. The solar shade structure covers 170 spaces of the grocery store’s parking lot and is estimated to generate 80,000 kilowatt-hours a month.
Fry’s is not the first retailer in the Phoenix area to dip its toe into solar usage.
SanTan Village in Gilbert recently installed 2,877 solar panels. Desert Ridge Marketplace in Phoenix installed solar panels four years ago. And Glimcher Realty, the owner of Scottsdale Quarter, is considering incorporating solar energy as part of future expansions there.
The Fry’s project was able to take advantage of the Arizona Public Service Co. incentive program before that program ended last year. Without the incentives from APS, the number of commercial solar projects has declined this year.
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