Walgreens Opens Geothermal-Powered Store


"Neighborhood ordinance required new retailers to investigate geothermal energy."

Walgreen Co. has opened a store in Oak Park that relies on geothermal energy for heating and cooling, the Deerfield-based drugstore giant announced Monday.

Last year, the village of Oak Park passed an ordinance requiring any retailer that wanted to build a commercial building there to investigate geothermal energy.

Walgreens executives decided that geothermal made sense, so the company partnered with Indie Energy, an Evanston-based company that specializes in designing and installing geothermal systems, on the store at 811 W. Madison St.

The system harnesses the earth's heat using a network of four closed-loop boreholes installed to depths of 650 feet, and a heat-exchange system controlled by Indie Energy EnergyLoop(TM) technology. A heat-transfer liquid exchanges heating and cooling energy with the earth.

Inside the store, which opened on Nov. 1, a geothermal heat pump and refrigeration systems pull heating energy from the fluid for heat, and reject heat in order to cool.

The system provides a constant 55-degree (F) temperature.

The Walgreens store also uses a dimming system for sales-floor lighting, includes LED lights throughout, and has light-powered bathroom hand dryers.

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