Walmart is teaming up with SolarCity to install solar panels on rooftops at various store locations throughout California. The company plans to install solar panels on the rooftops of 60 stores, bringing its total number of store locations in California with installed solar to more than 130. This equates to roughly 75 percent of its stores in the state.
"California presents a great opportunity for Walmart to make significant progress toward our sustainability goals by installing solar power on more than 130 store rooftops throughout the state," said Kim Saylors-Laster, Walmart vice president of energy. "Walmart has reduced energy expenses by more than a million dollars through our solar program, allowing us to pass these savings on to our customers in the form of everyday low prices."
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SolarCity will install and maintain the new rooftop solar systems that are expected to generate up to 70 million kilowatt hours of clean energy per year. That’s enough energy to power 5,400 homes, and will provide 20 to 30 percent of each store’s electricity needs. The panels will offset over 21,700 metric tons of CO2 emission annually, the equivalent of taking 4,100 cars off the road.
"Walmart's effort to expand and accelerate its solar power initiative program here in California demonstrates their commitment to sustainability," said Mary D. Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board. "These kinds of projects create jobs, reduce costs for businesses by lowering power bills, and protect the environment. We appreciate Walmart's leadership and encourage other businesses to follow Walmart's lead."
Walmart’s decision to go solar has created over 500 full-time jobs since the beginning of the project and is expected to generate hundreds more before the end of the year.