For sustainable society


McDonals’ heading off-grid for more sustainable future

The trend of reducing the use of electricity procured from Electric Power Companies is gradually increasing. As to why, it’s all because most electricity generated comes from thermal power generation, which emits a large amount of Carbon Dioxide.  

More users are beginning to use electricity generated by renewable energy. One of those methods is using electricity generated at their own homes or buildings, which is a great contradiction to reducing carbon dioxide emissions. A restaurant where electricity isn’t brought from the outside, a restaurant where electricity is self-produced, self- consumption – isn’t this one step closer to a better, sustainable future? Not only is this model environmentally friendly, but it also helps to provide the clients with food and drinks during power outages and even during natural disasters. Soon enough these reliable restaurants may increase all around the world. 

In July 2020, United States’ McDonald’s has announced that it will pursue ultimate energy efficiency and performance, and announced that it will open a flagship store that can supply only the amount of renewable electricity it uses annually, produced at the store. The shop at the Walt Disney Resort in Florida has already been reopened after the renovation. 

The new McDonald’s store will be with total area of 745 square meters with four power generation facilities and three saving systems. 

The first power generation facility is solar panels placed on the roof. The 1066 panels installed on the V-shaped roof generate about 600’000 kilowatts of electricity annually. 

Second is the solar panel spread over an outdoor porch measuring about 140 square meters. The amount of electricity generated annually is approximately 70’000 kilowatts.

Third, is the solar pole lined up in the parking lot. It produces 9’000 kilowatts of electricity to cover the nighttime power consumption. Last one is the exercise bike installed outside the store. The power will be generated by human power and will have the power to recharge a mobile phone and illuminate the McDonald’s logo on the outer wall, giving visitors the opportunity to create electricity. 

Saving system includes three models – breathing window, plant wall and a drainage system. Breathing window automatically adjusts to cool air flowing into the store and warm air out of the store according to the climate. Second, the plant wall covers about 157 square meters of outer wall. Third is the drainage system designed to reduce the amount of water used and is mentioned that the water will be reused. 

By 2021 McDonald’s will build a new store with these characteristics and will acquire a Net Zero Energy Certificate from the US-Based non-profit International Living Future Institute. The certificate proves that the building produces renewable energy equivalent to the electricity required per year as claimed by the owner. After obtaining this certificate McDonald’s can legitimately claim that it has achieved Net Zero goals. 

As a global commitment, McDonald’s in the United States has announced that it will reduce Green House gas Emissions associated with store and office operations compared to 2015 by 36%, by the year 2030. The flagship store will act as a hub for collecting data for energy and water usage reductions, so the features announced might be incorporated in other McDonald’s stores in other cities. Currently, it does not seem to be completely off-grid, but if a restaurant that isn’t depended on the infrastructure of the power company is born, it will be a great support for the community and will be also supported by the community. 

Photo:Adobe Stock

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