Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market announced the solar panel installation at its California distribution center is providing nearly three quarters of the facility's energy. In a time of rising energy costs, solar power is helping ease the grocer's energy bills.

At 500,000 square feet, the solar panel installation is the size of five football fields and is considered one of the largest roof-mounted solar installations in North America. The installation was a $13 million investment for the company. Since March, the solar panels have provided more than 2,100 MWh of energy — enough to power more than 300 typical homes, 4,200 televisions, or 10,000 light bulbs for a year.

A live feed of the solar panel's energy output can be viewed at

According to Southern California Edison's Savings by Design, Fresh & Easy stores use about 30% less energy than a typical supermarket. The company is a pilot member of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) volume certification program, recycles or reuses all its display and shipping materials, and voluntarily discloses its greenhouse gas emissions.