Sacramento, Calif. -- Walmart is taking its commitment to renewable energy to new levels in California. The chain announced plans to install solar panels on up to 60 additional stores in the Golden State. The initiative, done in partnership with SolarCity, expands the company’s solar portfolio to more than 75% of its locations in California.
“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, VP energy, Walmart. “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 provide 20 to 30% of each facility’s total electric needs. It also is expected to generate up to 70 million kilowatt hours of clean, renewable energy per year, the equivalent of powering more than 5,400 homes, and 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.
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.”