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Walmart to install 100th solar power project

Yesterday, Walmart announced another six solar panel projects for stores in Colorado, bringing the total number of solar installations at U.S. Walmart stores, facilities and affiliates to 100.

The installations, owned and operated by SolarCity, will total 2 MW and power stores located in the Denver metro area. Walmart expects that these installations will generate almost 3 million kWh of energy annually, enough to power over 225 homes and offset over 5 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

“With these six solar power systems in Colorado, we reach an exciting milestone of 100 solar power installations on U.S. Walmart stores, clubs, and distribution centers,” said Marty Gilbert, Walmart director of energy.

“While Walmart’s investment in solar technology has significantly grown in recent years, we know there is still much work to be done to reach our environmental goals and look forward to continuing to work with states like Colorado and suppliers like SolarCity to take full advantage of solar power.”

A solar installation at a Walmart store in Mountain View, CA. Credit: Walmart

Back in March 2010, then-Governor Bill Ritter signed into law legislation requiring large utilities to obtain 30% of their power from renewable sources by 2020. The state is ranked fifth among the country’s top 10 states for the total amount of solar capacity installed. SolarCity has operations in Denver and Parker, CO, and Walmart operates 86 facilities and employs 25,238 people in the state.

“Like the state of Colorado, Walmart has set ambitious renewable energy goals and these solar installations are another step in that journey,” said Kim Saylors-Laster, Walmart vice president of energy.

The retail giant notes that these installations “demonstrate that solar can be cost-effective even in the large flat-roof environment where high wind and snow can pose challenges for solar projects.”

In September 2011, SolarCity announced plans to install solar panels on up to 60 Walmart stores in California. At the time, SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive said that Walmart was “setting an example that far more companies in the U.S. can follow; it is possible for many businesses to pay less for solar power than they currently pay for electricity.”

And with these new installations in Colorado, “Walmart continues to show the kind of leadership that makes solar adoption easier and more affordable for other companies in the U.S.,” according to Toby Corey, SolarCity’s chief revenue officer.

“SolarCity has now installed solar panels on Walmart stores in California, Arizona and Colorado, helping the company to boost both renewable energy and employment in these states and demonstrating that businesses can pay less for solar power than they currently pay for electricity.”


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