Sprouts Farmers Market, a Phoenix, Arizona (U.S.)-based chain of over 380 stores in 23 states, is deploying refrigeration software and automation from Axiom Cloud in dozens of its stores in Northern California, according to an Axiom Cloud announcement.
Axiom Cloud, based in Emeryville, California, develops and produces software that, among other things, allows food retailers to enhance refrigeration uptime, reduce refrigerant leak rates, cut costs by optimizing floating suction opportunities, and generate new revenue through automated demand response.
Sprouts Farmers Market, which specializes in natural and organic foods, is deploying Axiom’s Facilities Analyzer app for “real-time access to refrigeration data across all enrolled sites in one dashboard,” said Axiom. This allows stores to receive “highly contextual notifications” alerting them to “urgent maintenance issues, refrigerant leaks, and energy-saving opportunities.” Monthly performance reports summarize results and rank outstanding issues by urgency and value.
Sprouts is also using the Axiom Virtual Battery cloud software, which provides the retailer with “a completely new revenue stream” by utilizing low-temperature refrigeration and HVAC loads to participate in the demand response programs offered by utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), said Axiom.
“This is now a proven model that we can use with other grocery chains in California who want to capture utility incentives to improve their operations and cashflows.”Amrit Robbins, Axiom Cloud
In addition, Virtual Battery will enable Sprouts to take advantage of PG&E’s Automated Demand Response (ADR) incentives to optimally manage its electricity usage. This can “eliminate the up-front cost for deployment of the Axiom apps and make the project’s ROI even more attractive,” said Amrit Robbins, CEO of Axiom Cloud. California-based Enersponse will help enable ADR by coordinating with PG&E and sending dispatch signals to each Sprouts store.
Another Axiom retail customer, California-based Grocery Outlet, also funded its rollout with ADR incentives, he added. “This is now a proven model that we can use with other grocery chains in California who want to capture utility incentives to improve their operations and cashflows.” ADR incentives are also available from the California utilities SCE, SDG&E and SMUD.
Last September, Axiom announced that it had been selected as a sub-recipient of funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) to “help grocery stores strategically use energy in a way that reduces their costs, while lowering strain on the electrical grid during peak usage times.”
In 2017, Sprouts became the first U.S. retailer to deploy a transcritical CO2 (R744) refrigeration system with an energy-saving ejector.