Walmart announced its plan to install solar panels on up to 60 additional stores in California, expanding the company’s solar portfolio to more than 75 percent of its stores in the state, making California the first state in the nation where Walmart has devoted this level of commitment to renewable energy.
“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.”
When complete, Walmart’s total solar commitment in California is expected to:
- Generate up to 70 million kilowatt hours of clean, renewable energy per year, which is the equivalent of powering more than 5,400 homes*;
- Avoid producing more than 21,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is the equivalent of taking approximately 4,100 cars off the road*; and
- Provide 20 to 30 percent of each facility’s total electric needs.
“Walmart’s effort to expand and accelerate its solar power initiative program here in California demonstrates their commitment to sustainability. These kinds of projects create jobs, reduce costs for businesses by lowering power bills, and protect the environment,” said Mary D. Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board. “We appreciate Walmart’s leadership and encourage other businesses to follow Walmart’s lead.”
“Walmart’s commitment to renewable energy in California is commendable,” said Gwen Ruta, vice president for corporate partnerships at Environmental Defense Fund. “These projects are a win-win for the environment and our economy, and help move our country toward a cleaner energy future.”
“Walmart has undertaken one of the most ambitious solar initiatives of any company in the U.S., and tripled the scale of its initial project with us,” added Lyndon Rive, SolarCity’s CEO. “Walmart is setting an example that far more companies in the U.S. can follow; it is possible for many businesses to pay less for solar power than they currently pay for electricity.”
Walmart’s investment in solar power is anticipated to create hundreds of jobs in California through its partnership with SolarCity, which will own, install and maintain the new solar power systems. The San Mateo, Calif.-based company has added more than 500 new full-time jobs since it initiated its first Walmart solar project, and expects to hire hundreds more before the end of the year.
“Our solar efforts in California have proven to be a great way for Walmart to build our renewable energy program,” said Mack Wyckoff, senior manager of renewable energy at Walmart. “We are confident that we will continue to grow our solar energy program in the U.S. and around the world because of the initial success we have had in California.”