Although Walmart is often accused of being an unethical employer and a cruel competitor, you have to admit it’s use of green energy is impressive. The company is the third-largest user of green energy in the nation and plans to have all of its power come from renewable energy one day. Even with its questionable practices, one thing we can say for Walmart is that its a great model of how other companies should be embracing renewables. -KZ
Walmart will have SolarCity install solar on six stores in Colorado. These solar projects mark will bring Walmart to its 100th solar power installation in the U.S., moving it closer to its long-term goal of using 100% renewable energy for all its retail and distribution facilities.
The installations, totaling two megawatts on three stores in Westminster and one each in Lakewood, Highlands Ranch and Lafayette, will help Colorado meet its ambitious renewable energy goals. Colorado hopes to produce 30% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, and these projects 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.
When complete, Walmart’s SolarCity projects in Colorado are expected to generate nearly three million kilowatt-hours of clean, renewable energy per year, which is the equivalent of powering more than 225 homes.* The solar projects are expected to avoid producing more than 5 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
“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. “Solar power continues to show promise as an alternative to traditional power for its environmental and economic benefits. We are proud to work with SolarCity and the state of Colorado.”
In September 2011, Walmart and SolarCity announced plans to install solar panels on up to 60 additional stores in California, expanding Walmart’s solar portfolio with the potential to more than 75 percent of its stores in the state.
“Walmart continues to show the kind of leadership that makes solar adoption easier and more affordable for other companies in the U.S.,” said 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.”