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Walmart Expands Solar Installations in Hawaii

Jessica Lyons Hardcastle

Walmart and SunEdison have completed new solar power installations at three Walmart stores in Kahului, Kailua-Kona and Kapolei, doubling the retailer’s number of stores in Hawaii powered by solar energy.

During the first full year of production, the 311 kW solar power rooftop system on each store will produce more than 400,000 kWh of solar electricity. Each rooftop system will eliminate 320 metric tons of CO2e annually.

Similar installations are already in operation atop the Honolulu Sam’s Club and Mililani Walmart on Oahu, and the Lihue Walmart on Kauai.

Walmart has more than 240 solar projects in operation or underway worldwide, according to the company, which installed its largest solar installation to date last September: a 3.3 MW system atop the Buckeye distribution center near Phoenix, Ariz. The solar panels on parking canopies will produce up to 30 percent of the center’s energy needs, and will generate up to 5.3 million kWh of energy per year.

Aaccording to a 2012 report published by the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Vote Solar Initiative, Walmart is the No. 1 corporate solar user in terms of on-site capacity.

Also in late 2012, Walmart installed its first onsite industrial-sized wind turbine, which will generate approximately 2.2 million KWh, providing up to 20 percent of its Red Bluff, Calif. distribution center’s annual electricity use. The company has said it will add $150 million in benefits to its bottom line from sustainability initiatives such as solar and wind energy projects in fiscal year 2013, Environmental Leader reports.

The installations contribute to the company’s broader goal of being supplied 100 percent by renewable energy.

 

 



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