STORE SPACES

Walmart ups commitment to solar power

BY Marianne Wilson

Walmart is moving closer to its renewable energy goal.

Walmart said it has reached an agreement with SunPower to have the commercial energy provider install solar systems at 19 stores and two distribution centers in Illinois.

As part of the project, a mix of rooftop and ground-mount solar systems are expected to account for 23 megawatts, with start of construction targeted for the first half of 2019.

Walmart is financing the projects through a power purchase agreement (PPA) arranged by SunPower that allows Walmart to buy power at competitive prices and hedge against future utility rate increases with no upfront capital costs. Walmart will own the renewable energy credits associated with the system.

The new deployments will move Walmart closer to its 2025 goal of supplying its global operations with 50% renewable energy. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, the amount of anticipated annual carbon offset by this initiative will be equal to the amount of carbon sequestered by over 24,000 acres of U.S. forest in one year.

“Solar is a vital component of Walmart’s expanding renewable energy portfolio,” said Mark Vanderhelm, VP of energy for Walmart Inc. “Walmart plans to tirelessly pursue renewable energy projects that are right for our customers, our business and the environment. These planned projects with SunPower are moving us in the right direction toward our renewable energy goals.”

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