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Net-zero energy bank opens

By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Posted: 11 am ET

Florida is known as The Sunshine State, and with good reason. So it's perhaps no surprise that TD Bank chose Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., as the site of what the bank says is the first net-zero energy bank location in the U.S.

A "net-zero energy building" is one that produces at least as much renewable power in one year as the total energy it uses, according the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Net-zero energy buildings are constructed with two key features:

• Energy-efficient technologies that reduce energy demand.

• Renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, that supply at least as much energy as the building uses over the course of a year.

Only eight U.S. properties are registered with the DOE as net-zero energy buildings, and TD Bank will be the first to register a net-zero energy commercial bank, according to a company statement.

The new branch, called a TD Bank store, will need approximately 97,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year to operate and is expected to produce at least 100,000 kWh per year from its 400 solar panels, which are located on the roof, drive-through canopy and adjacent solar field.

To mark the store's grand opening, TD Bank donated $50,000 to The Nature Conservancy, based in Central Florida. The funds will be used to help protect and restore the northern Everglades and the headwaters of the Everglades, which are among the great wetland landscapes in the U.S.

TD Bank, a subsidiary of Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, is dual-headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., and Portland, Maine. The company is one of the larger U.S. banks, having more than 1,250 locations from Maine to Florida.

The net-zero energy branch opened for business May 13.

Follow me on Twitter: @marciegeff

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