Wal-Mart Using Its Own Solar Power At 150 Locations

Jul 31, 2012 No Comments by

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, has installed more than 150 U.S. solar projects and expects to have as much as 90 megawatts of capacity by year-end, more than Ikea Group and Apple Inc.

Wal-Mart’s San Diego store is the 100th to get solar panels in California, the company said Monday in a statement. The company currently has 62 megawatts of panels installed at U.S. locations, and also operates fuel cells and wind turbines at some sites.

Wal-Mart, with 4,522 stores in the U.S., expects to have 1,000 solar-powered locations by 2020, Marty Gilbert, director of energy at the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company, said in an interview. The retailer gets about 4 percent of its power from renewable sources and plans to install another 100 solar systems by the end of 2012, demonstrating that renewable energy is economically viable to businesses.

The company installed its first five solar projects in 2008. It’s installing panels in markets where u tility rates are higher, such as California, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Ohio and Connecticut, Gilbert said. Each system must add to the bottom line for the individual store.

Wal-Mart has 26 fuel-cell projects and six projects. A 1.1-megawatt wind turbine at a store in Red Bluff, California, will be operational within a month, Gilbert said.

Other large companies are also installing U.S. solar projects. Apple Inc., is building a 20-megawatt solar farm and a 5-megawatt fuel-cell system to power a data center in North Carolina.

Ikea has solar projects at 26 U.S. sites and is planning to install 13 more, with total capacity of 38 megawatts.

 

Source: DBR

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