STORE SPACES

Walmart expands commitment to solar energy in California

BY Marianne Wilson

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.”

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REAL ESTATE

Macy’s going smaller in Pittsburgh

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Macy’s is reducing the size of its store in downtown Pittsburgh from nine floors of retail space to six (plus a mezzanine).

The company has been moving some departments to lower floors since early this year. The store will remain open during the renovations.

"The store is being reconfigured for better flow among departments, making shopping easier and more convenient," the company said in a statement.

After the consolidation, Macy’s Pittsburgh’s flagship will have about 525,000 sq. ft. of space, making it about twice the size of the typical suburban store.

All 363 Macy’s employees will remain at the store, the company said.

Macy’s put the 13-story building that houses the store up for sale more than a year ago, with the intent of leasing back retail and office space (it is home to the chain’s regional and district offices). To date, however, it has not found a buyer.

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STORE SPACES

Ikea goes solar in Emeryville, Calif.

BY Staff Writer

Emeryville, Calif. — Ikea officially plugged-in the solar energy system installed at its East Bay store in Emeryville, Calif. The 68,000-sq.-ft. photovoltaic array consists of a 538-kW system, built with approximately 2,394 panels.

The installation will produce approximately 760,300 kWh of clean electricity annually, the equivalent of reducing 578 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 103 cars or powering 64 homes yearly.

The investment by Ikea to purchase its solar photovoltaic energy system, and to install and operate it atop the Emeryville store it owns, will lower the carbon intensity of the electrical grid. It represents the 11th completed solar energy project for Ikea in the United States. Additional installations currently are underway at one other Ikea location in California as well as eight more in the Eastern U.S.

For the development, design and installation of this customized solar power system, Ikea contracted with Gloria Solar, the U.S. operating group focused on the photovoltaic business within the family of E-Ton Solar Group. This project is the third Ikea installation in the 70,000-square-mile service area of PG&E.

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