Last year the giant retailer, Walmart, installed solar panels on 6 stores in Colorado as part of its nationwide effort to add solar panels to its stores. Monday, Walmart announced that it is installing solar on 12 Walmart and Sam’s Club stores throughout Ohio. This project represents 10% of all installed solar in Ohio.
Just as in Colorado, the solar panels are being supplied by SolarCity, a California based solar company. The Ohio project will add approximately 6,000,000 kWh of generation production – enough energy to power more than 820 homes – and are expected to supply approximately 5-20 percent of each store’s overall electricity use.
Walmart project represents 10% of all solar in Ohio
“Walmart's installation of solar on 12 store rooftops is the largest solar commitment ever made by a retail business in Ohio,” said Bill Spratley, Executive Director of Green Energy Ohio. “At more than four and a half megawatts, it represents almost a tenth of all the solar installed in Ohio currently. It is exciting to see that Walmart's solar arrays will also eliminate 5,500 tons of CO2 or the equivalent of taking the emissions of 1,152 cars off the road each year.”
The Walmart and Sam’s Clubs receiving solar power systems are located in Mason, Xenia, Greenville, Austintown, Middletown, Franklin, Youngstown, Toledo, Milford, Loveland, and two systems in Cincinnati.
Walmart set a goal to be powered 100% by renewable energy someday. The United States' EPA Green Power Partnership program ranks Walmart as the largest onsite green power generator in the U.S.
SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive said at the Ohio announcement that Walmart is the #1 corporate solar user in America. “This project brings SolarCity to the state of Ohio for the first time, and is expected to increase the state’s overall solar generation capacity by more than ten percent,” Rive said.
The SolarCity Walmart project in Colorado produced 271 temporary jobs according to a company spokesman. The Ohio project could double that total.
Costco, IKEA, McGraw Hill, Johnson & Johnson and FedEx join Walmart as corporations that are investing in solar energy in a big way. The dropping price for solar panels is one reason. Between the second quarter of 2011 and the second quarter of 2012, the average price of a completed commercial PV system fell by nearly 14% The economics of PV have become so attractive that many of the best managed corporations, which are synonymous with low cost and efficiency, are adopting solar energy on a massive scale across the U.S.
A report, prepared by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Vote Solar Initiative (Vote Solar), highlights those companies that have deployed the most solar energy capacity at their facilities for onsite consumption. In total, the 42 companies analyzed for this report have deployed at least 321MW of PV capacity at more than 750 locations in at least 26 states and Puerto Rico.
The 20 companies with the highest installed capacity have deployed at least 279 MW, enough to supply all the electricity needs of 46,500 American households. These solar leaders include some of America’s most iconic brands and biggest businesses SEIA said.
SolarCity has been active in many high profile solar projects including public/private projects with school districts, libraries, military housing, and other projects that will save the taxpayer money as well as eliminate tons of greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere.
A retailer with such high visibility as Walmart does a lot to convince the public that solar energy and all renewable energy makes sense—economically and for out planet.