TD Bank, which brands itself as “America’s Most Convenient Bank,” is becoming as green as its logo. The bank achieved carbon neutral status last year, and this week it will open what it says is the first bank branch in the U.S. that generates as much energy as it uses.
The TD Bank branch in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., has targeted the highest level of LEED certification, Platinum. More important, it goes beyond LEED to become the first zero-net energy bank building in the U.S. by installing solar panels on its roof, on the canopy over the drive-in window and on adjacent land next door.
According to the bank, "The new store…will be connected to the local utility grid, will require approximately 97,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity a year to operate, but it will produce a minimum of 100,000 kWh a year on site."
While this is the only net-zero energy branch now open, roughly 80 percent of all of the bank’s new branches will incorporate solar power into their design, according to Jacquelynn Henke, the bank’s real estate green strategy officer.
“Net zero was the next way for us to push the envelope,” she told me by phone the other day.
Net zero is the kind of approach we need to deal with the climate crisis. According to the Zero Energy Database from the U.S. Department of Energy, there are only eight net zero energy buildings in the U.S. The TD Bank store isn’t on the list because the DOE lists buildings that have been operating for at least a year, to prove they don’t need to pull energy from the grid.