Megaretailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc. just unveiled its 100th solar system in the state of California. All told, that brings the superstore’s solar installations to 150 throughout the country. What’s more, by the end of 2012, it expects to have as much as 90 megawatts of capacity, which would be more than IKEA and more than Apple.
“We are trying to show folks that you can not only pursue these sustainability initiatives, they also make business sense,” said Marty Gilbert, director of energy for Wal-Mart, explaining that using renewable energy is not only good for the environment but also can drive down prices. “The more we get involved and commit to volume, the more the prices come down for the technology,” he said.
Wal-Mart installed its first solar projects in 2008 and has been installing panels in areas where utility rates are typically higher—such as California, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Ohio and Connecticut. Supplementing their energy needs with solar providers cuts the company’s overall costs.
Through the new California system, the company hopes to create up to 70 million kilowatts of clean, renewable energy every year; eliminate over 21,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year; and cover as much as 30 percent of each facility’s electricity needs.
“At Walmart, we believe sustainability is about living better,” said Kimberly Sentovich, Senior Vice President of the Pacific Division for Wal-mart. “By using one of California’s greatest resources – sunshine – and employing renewable technology with our California-based partners, we will continue developing solutions that are both good for the environment and good for business.”
For more information about Wal-Mart’s sustainability projects, visit WalMartStores.com/Sustainability.