Kohl’s to add new solar energy installations

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Kohl’s is launching new solar initiatives in 2022.

Kohl’s Corp. is continuing to develop its renewable energy program.

The department store chain is launching a program to equip 15 of its rooftops across Arizona and Illinois with solar arrays within the next year, bringing the location total to 178. The 15 new projects will increase Kohl's installed solar capacity by 10.4%, to a total of 56.97 megawatts (MW).

According to Kohl’s, the solar energy generated from these new systems is the equivalent to the amount of electricity used to power 924 homes annually. On average, systems will provide 75% of each store’s electricity needs. Relative to each state, 11% of Kohl’s Illinois operational electricity usage and 9% Arizona operational electricity usage will come directly from solar once the new installations are complete.

In 2007, Kohl’s started out with about 38,000 solar panels on the rooftops of 19 California stores. Today, the company currently has163 rooftop solar arrays around the country, totaling more than 200,000 solar panels, including two large solar trees (ground-mounted solar systems with poles supporting many panels) at its corporate headquarters.

Kohl’s is also contracting to support the development of 23.4 MW of community solar projects across New York in 2022. Kohl’s will subscribe to a share of four community solar projects that will generate clean, renewable energy and are designed to provide economic and environmental benefits to local area residents. The projects will also provide energy credits to 18 Kohl’s store locations throughout New York.

Kohl’s has long been active in efforts to promote energy efficiency. Earlier this year, the retailer received the 2021 Energy Star Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. It is the 10th consecutive year that the EPA has recognized Kohl’s with the award, which is the highest honor bestowed by the program.

More than 90% of Kohl’s stores are Energy Star certified, including two locations that were newly certified within the past year. The company continues to retrofit its stores with high-efficiency lighting to reduce emissions and save electricity. In 2020, Kohl’s converted 45 stores to lighting fixtures with LEDs, which will help save more than 10 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year.

In addition to the Energy Star award, Kohl’s has been recognized with a SmartWay 2020 Excellence Award from the EPA as an industry leader in freight supply chain, environmental performance and energy efficiency. Kohl’s was also named to the 2020 Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America by S&P Global, marking the third year in a row the company received this recognition based on financially material ESG factors. The DJSI helps to evaluate a company’s impact on people, communities and the planet for socially conscious investors.

“As Kohl’s advances in expanding our renewable energy footprint, we are excited to begin developing the solar arrays across Arizona and Illinois, while also supporting the New York Community Solar Program,” said Steve Thomas, Kohl’s executive VP, chief risk & compliance officer. “These projects are fully aligned with Kohl’s mission to leverage sustainable initiatives that empower the company, the climate as well as our customers.”