Wal-Mart to Nearly Double Solar Energy Use in California.
Expansion expected to generate energy equal to powering more than 1300 homes annually.
LOS ANGELES, April 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Today Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) , as part of its commitment to accelerate and broaden its sustainability efforts, announced it is expanding its solar power program in California. The company plans to add solar panels on 10 to 20 additional Wal-Mart facilities within the next 18 months.
This commitment is in addition to the 18 solar arrays currently installed at Wal-Mart facilities in California. When combined, Wal-Mart’s total solar installations are expected to:
-- Generate up to 32 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable energy per year - the equivalent of powering more than 2,600 homes*; -- Avoid producing more than 22,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year - the equivalent of taking more than 4,000 cars off the road*; -- Provide 20 to 30 percent of each location's total electric energy needs.
“Increasing the use of solar energy is the right thing to do for the environment and makes tremendous business sense, especially in these economic conditions,” said Kimberly Sentovich, Wal-Mart’s California regional general manager. “Thanks to Governor Schwarzenegger’s leadership, California is an excellent environment for us to grow our investment in renewable energy and help create more green jobs for America. Wal-Mart is excited to continue collaborating with our partner BP Solar on expanding our solar footprint.”
“All over the state we are harnessing the power of the famous California sun and creating energy that is pollution free,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “This project is all about taking bold action so we can see solar panels on commercial rooftops all across California while putting people to work. Today’s action helps prove that even in an economic downturn, it is possible to get serious about clean, renewable energy.”
“Wal-Mart is a leader in implementing cost-effective clean energy solutions,” said Christopher Lau, World Resources Institute’s California Green Power Group manager. “With this commitment to expand the use of solar power, Wal-Mart demonstrates that businesses can pursue long-term sustainability goals during tough economic times to the benefit of the environment, customers, and bottom line.”
This latest series of projects is expected to create about 130 jobs, including engineering, design, and installer technician jobs. Smaller numbers of workers will be engaged during the periods leading up to and following peak construction.
Wal-Mart is committed to expanding its solar presence in California. As construction nears completion on this group of 10 to 20 sites, Wal-Mart will evaluate the feasibility of expanding the program to additional sites. The company will take into account a variety of factors, including available locations, economic conditions, energy prices, as well as local, state and federal renewable energy policies and programs.
Wal-Mart will continue learning from its renewable projects to find additional ways to achieve its goal of being supplied by 100 percent renewable energy. In November 2008, Wal-Mart announced a major purchase of wind energy that will supply up to 15 percent of the retailer’s total energy load in approximately 350 Texas stores and other facilities. In Puerto Rico, the company is planning to outfit up to five stores with solar panels this year, and expects the project to expand to 22 stores in the next five years. Additionally, Wal-Mart de Mexico will eliminate approximately 140 tons of CO2 emissions annually through the completed installation of more than 1000 solar panels on the roof of the Bodega Aurrera Aguascalientes.
Wal-Mart’s ongoing commitment to renewable energy projects is helping the retailer build a more diversified energy portfolio and create more opportunities for advancements in clean energy through research and innovations.
* According to the EPA (http://www.epa.gov/solar/energy-resources/calculator.html)
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Walmart discount stores, supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam’s Club locations in the United States. The company also operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. The company’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartstores.com.