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Solar-powered supermarkets: Tops move will affect 75 stores, including Saranac Lake

A solar farm with storage (Provided photo — Convergent Energy + Power)

SARANAC LAKE — Tops Friendly Markets announced Wednesday it has teamed up with an energy storage company to power 75 of its supermarkets from the sun, including the store in Saranac Lake.

Tops has teamed up with Convergent Energy Power to power these stores with new solar farms, paired with battery storage.

“Convergent is building 8 new farms that will power all 75 of our stores as well as residential homes that sign on to the grid,” Tops public and media relations manager Kathy Sautter wrote in an email. “They are in different phases of construction but are located in Parma, Chaumont, and Cicero.”

This is expected to give Tops access to solar energy regardless of whether the sun is shining, reduce the stores’ carbon footprint and reduce the state’s reliance on power plants during peak demand hours.

These 75 stores — about half of Tops’ total — include seven in the North Country, all in the Adirondack Park: in Saranac Lake, Schroon Lake, Chestertown, North Creek, Bolton Landing, Northville and Corinth, according to Sautter. North Country Tops stores in AuSable Forks, Elizabethtown, Peru, Warrensburg, Lowville, Watertown and Adams would apparently not be included.

These projects support New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which aims for 70% of the state’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.

Tops Markets LLC is headquartered in Williamsville and operates 157 supermarkets with five additional franchise stores in New York, northern Pennsylvania and western Vermont.

Convergent, founded in 2011, focuses on energy storage, with approximately half of its portfolio being solar-plus-storage.

ISG Enterprise Energy Solutions facilitated the introduction between Tops and Convergent. PowerMarket, a market leader in providing subscriber acquisition, management and billing services to the community solar industry, advised Convergent on this transaction and provides subscription management services to this portfolio of projects.

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