I want to tread very lightly here — I have some biases when it comes to New Jersey supermarkets. I worked (full disclosure) for two summers tarring the parking lot and changing fluorescents at the Shop Rite in Lincoln Park, New Jersey. When I was in middle school, I also once shoplifted (and then ate) six Cadbury Creme Eggs from a Grand Union in my hometown of Ridgewood, New Jersey and learned a valuable lesson about crime not paying and an equally valuable lesson about sugar freakouts. So it is maybe with a bit of a skewed perspective that I say that I have never really thought terribly highly of Foodtown, and even considered it something of a lesser figure in the Jersey Supermarket Constellation. Somewhere between Pathmark and Stop N Shop, on the further, colder reaches of the universe. But with the news that six Garden State Foodtowns are installing massive arrays of the very promising Solyndra solar panels, I clearly need to revise my stance.
Treehugger, which is generally very good on this sort of thing, raved about Solyndra — a uniquely modular, film-coated tube that converts up to 14% of the sunlight hitting it into usable energy, and also captures energy reflected back off of white roofs — when it debuted back in 2008. Promising as the product is, though, the six Jersey Foodtowns that have signed up to have Solyndra panels installed by Jersey’s Solis Partners are actually the largest order for the company in the 18 months after the product’s launch. “I know, I know, calling a system spread out over six locations the largest may be stretching PR credibility,” Treehugger’s Matthew McDermott writes. “But it’s really pretty cool because of the type of system it is.”
On behalf of gbNYC, and with great remorse at ever having underestimated Foodtown, I concur. Sorry for ever having underestimated you, and I look forward to writing another one of these when Waldbaum’s goes totally geothermal.