Walmart announced six SolarCity projects on stores in Colorado, marking the company’s 100th solar power installation in the U.S. and moving it closer to its long-term goal of using 100-percent renewable energy for all its retail and distribution facilities.
”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 on this project that creates local jobs, and ultimately helps Walmart reduce its energy costs, so that we can continue to pass on savings to our customers.”
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 percent 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.
Walmart continues to support the growth of the solar industry by implementing new technology on a large scale in Colorado. Despite the winter weather, the state currently ranks fifth among the country’s top 10 states for the total amount of solar capacity installed.** SolarCity engineered and delivered a customized, cost-effective solution to meet the requirements of large, flat rooftop-solar systems operating in the Rocky Mountain climate.
“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.”
Walmart operates 86 facilities and employs 25,238 people in Colorado. SolarCity, which has operations centers in Denver and Parker, Colo., will install, own and maintain the six new solar power systems.
“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.”
Walmart is using a number of renewable technologies around the world to make progress towards the goal of being supplied by 100 percent renewable energy. 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. To learn more about Walmart’s commitment to renewable energy please visit our website or our sustainability blog The Green Room.
* According to the EPA calculator
**According to SEIA and GTM U.S.Solar Market Insight Report