FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS (July 26, 2023) – In a pioneering effort to combat the high costs of commercial refrigeration, Ameren Illinois has partnered with the Schnucks supermarket chain to install a cutting-edge radiative rooftop panel system at its Fairview Heights store. As it becomes operational in July, the SkyCool System at the Fairview Heights Schnucks represents the first of its kind in Illinois, and one of only 20 such systems installed around the world.
“Refrigeration consumes more electricity than any other component of a grocery store’s operation, with freezers and coolers having to run 24/7/365, so any chance to improve performance helps keep operations costs down and lower our customers' cost at the register,” says Ike Eichenlaub, Manager HVAC/R & Energy for Schnucks Markets.
Leveraging game-changing technology from SkyCool Systems, Ameren Illinois worked with Schnucks to install rooftop panels at its Fairview Heights store. The system of panels integrates with the store’s existing cooling systems. Layered, radiative cooling films on the panels act like a mirror, reflecting up to 97% of sunlight back into the atmosphere. By cooling the fluids used in air conditioning and refrigeration systems, the SkyCool System improves the operating efficiency of the units by as much as 40%.
Because it helps to keep the building and food products cool with less energy, the innovative system will help the Schnucks store reduce its monthly power bill and its impact on the environment. Unlike other energy-efficient cooling technologies, the SkyCool system requires no water, produces no carbon emissions and uses only a minimal amount of electricity to power a small circulating pump.
“Schnuck Markets, Inc. appreciates the opportunity to partner with Ameren Illinois and SkyCool on this innovative energy-savings initiative,” Eichenlaub says. “It is a rare opportunity to find something that adds reliability, increases life expectancy of equipment and provides cost savings.”
“In its mission to help customers improve comfort, manage energy usage and reduce costs, the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program is proud to be the first in our region to offer this innovative energy-saving system for our business customers,” says Pat Justis, Director of Energy Efficiency for Ameren Illinois. “As global temperatures continue to rise and refrigeration systems and air conditioning become more important in our communities, radiative cooling may play a key role in meeting the energy needs of the future.”
For more information on the Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program, including ways to save, visit AmerenIllinoisSavings.com.
About Ameren Illinois
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and more than 800,000 natural gas customers throughout central and southern Illinois. Our service territory covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. Our mission is to power the quality of life. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com. Follow us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook.