Whole Foods Market Becomes Los Angeles' Largest Retailer and Nation's Largest Food Retailer Utilizing Solar Power Lighting System

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 13, 2002--Whole Foods Market(R), Inc. (Nasdaq:WFMI), the world's largest natural and organic supermarket, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), the nation's largest municipally owned utility, have teamed up to create an on-site solar electric power co-generation system.

Under the management of California Associated Power, Inc, the system was recently installed at the Whole Foods Market store in Woodland Hills, Calif., making the company Los Angeles' largest major retailer and nation's largest food retailer to introduce solar energy as 25% of its power source. The official "solarbration" ceremony will take place at the store, 21347 Ventura Blvd. in Woodland Hills, and is scheduled for 10 a.m. on November 18, 2002; the public is invited to attend.

Under the LADWP's Solar Incentive Program, which provided more than $582,000 in incentives, Whole Foods Market brought together California Associated Power, Sunny Boy, Shell Solar (formerly Siemens Solar), The Gas Company and Sempra Energy to create a 108kW solar electric system to power the Woodland Hills store. The solar array, composed of Shell Solar(R) panels covering 18,000 square feet on the store's roof, turns the sun's free energy into usable power. These solar panels are electrically interconnected to Sunny Boy(TM) power modules, which feed high quality DC power to the store's existing electrical system and the utility grid at large. This innovative solar electric and lighting system maximizes the usable solar energy produced by the photovoltaic panels and increases the efficiency of power conversion.

"We are a company actively looking for ways to help preserve our planet's natural resources, and natural solar powered lighting systems made sense both from an economic and an environmental standpoint," said Michael Besancon, Southern Pacific regional president of Whole Foods Market. "Most importantly, this initiative is helping us to further our corporate mission of preserving the environment by promoting clean energy. We are planning to implement this technology with other stores throughout the Southern Pacific region."

"I'm pleased that this highly-regarded retailer and the LADWP are partnering to craft a smart energy solution that makes sense for our community and the environment," noted David Wiggs, general manager, LADWP.

"The Solar Power for a Green LA program is just one of the Green LA initiatives," commented Angelina Galiteva, executive director of Green LA environmental affairs and new product development, LADWP. "The innovative Green LA efforts are aimed at implementing cutting edge environmental technologies while responding to customer needs."

System Benefits

Whole Foods Market's new solar electrical system is expected to create significant economic and environmental benefits. In addition to an attractive amortization period, the system will:

    --  Produce and save more than 3 million kilowatt hours over 20

    --  Result in more than 2,000 tons of CO2 emissions avoided, the
        equivalent of removing 536 cars from the roadways

    --  Reduce the equivalent of more than 2,000 tons of coal being

    --  Reduce the equivalent of removing 540,000 lbs of greenhouse

Shell Solar(R) solar electric roof panels system was selected as the best solar electric technology application for Whole Foods Market's unused flat roof space. Shell Solar(R) is a patented, lightweight photovoltaic roofing assembly that delivers clean solar electricity to the building.

About Whole Foods Market

Founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market is the world's largest natural and organic foods supermarket. In fiscal year 2001, the company had sales of $2.3 billion and currently has more than 139 stores in the United States and Canada. The Whole Foods Market motto, "Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet"(TM) captures the company's mission to find success in customer satisfaction and wellness, employee excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support, and environmental improvement. Whole Foods Market, Bread & Circus(R) and Harry's Farmers Market(R) are all registered trademarks owned by Whole Foods Market and its affiliates. The company employs more than 24,000 team members and has been ranked for five consecutive years as one of the "Top 100 Companies to Work for" in America by Fortune magazine.

About Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) and Green LA

The Solar Power Program is one in a series of Green LA initiatives that also includes Green Power, Energy Efficiently, Electric Transportation, Tree Planting for Green LA, Cool Schools Tree Planting and Recycling.

Further information about the Solar Power Program or Green LA initiative can be received by logging onto www.GreenLA.com. LADWP customers can also received information by phoning 1-800-GreenLA.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is celebrating its 100th year of providing water and energy services to residents and businesses within the 465-square mile city of Los Angeles service area.

Contact: Kim Hughes, LADWP, 213/367-4417 or 213/792-9599 (cell)

About Shell Solar

Shell Solar is one of the world's largest manufacturers of photovoltaics. The company has decades of experience on the design and installation of solar power systems. With the innovative and trend-setting two-megawatt trade center roof of 1997, Shell Solar set new international standards for the photovoltaics industry. The company belongs to the Shell Solar Group, which operates throughout the world and has its headquarters in Amsterdam. Shell Solar has cutting-edge research, development and production facilities throughout the world. Shell Solar employs about 1,100 people and has partners for its products in over 90 countries. For more information, please visit their website, www.shell.com/solar.

Contact: Tina Nickerson, [email protected]

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