The Shops at Merchants Walk bring innovative and sleek energy saving design to Memorial Parkway

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The highly-anticipated development, Shops at Merchants Walk, is taking a walk on the unique side with their branding and energy saving methods. The $50 million project is looking to make a big impact while leave behind a small energy footprint.

RCP Companies plans to do this one wind turbine and solar panel at a time. If you’ve ventured out near Bob Wallace and Memorial Parkway, you’ve probably seen those hard-to-miss spinning wind turbines. The tops of seven energy efficient light fixtures are eye level with the Parkway, and that’s just the start of the development's innovative ideas.

“Yeah, I’m surprised we haven’t seen any wrecks in front of the store yet,” explained Whole Foods Team Manager, Jeremy Barnes. “This gives us a chance for everyone that drives by to understand that we are committed to sustainability.”

Barnes is referring to the attention the solar powered, wind turbine lights are getting. There are seven that line the property.  Each has a 200-watt wind turbine with a 230-watt solar panel. Together, they provide power to a battery that lights an 85-watt LED light on top.

The wind and sun pair perfectly together to store energy for up to five days.

“So even in the case of storms,” said Barnes. “If power goes out all across the valley, the lights are going to stay on for days.”

Sure, these lights may be off the grid, but they are making a big impact. The surrounding lights set the tone for the property’s energy efficient strides. Windows throughout the property are glazed with a coating to drastically reduce UV rays coming through. This will cut back on power expenses.

Inside the parking garage are two charging stations for smart cars. There is also a place for cyclists to chain up their bikes.

“You may have a couple people with their electric vehicles fighting for the spaces,” said Barnes.

And the sustainability innovation goes far beyond the Whole Foods store doors and into your community.

“Past-date food, ready for human consumption, goes to local organizations,” explains Barnes. “So people can eat that food. Organic veggie-based foods go to make animal feed.”

Overall, bringing a new look and mission to ramp up our Parkway businesses.  The Whole Foods store is expected to open in the next month, but the opening date has yet to be announced.