President Obama visited a Walmart in Mountain View, Calif., to highlight the importance of advancing solar power, renewable energy and energy efficiency. During the President’s visit, Walmart made a commitment to double the number of on-site solar energy projects at its US stores, Sam’s Clubs and distribution centers by 2020, compared to a 2013 baseline.
The commitment is part of Walmart’s global initiative to drive the production or procurement of 7 billion kWh of renewable energy by the end of 2020 and to eventually be supplied by 100 percent renewable energy.
President Obama was on hand to promote more solar nationwide. He praised companies and organizations such as Home Depot and Apple, which have recently announced more solar installations. He also said, “We’re going to support training programs at community colleges across the country that will help 50,000 workers earn the skills that solar companies are looking for.”
As for Walmart, the company is currently the number one commercial solar energy user according to the Solar Energy Industry Association and is recognized as the largest on-site renewable energy user in America by the EPA’s Green Power Partnership.
Earlier this week, Walmart also signed on to the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Initiative, reinforcing the company’s commitment to reduce the energy intensity of its buildings by 20 percent by 2020, compared to a 2010 baseline.
The Mountain View store currently derives 14.5 percent of its energy from solar systems built and installed by SolarCity, a local California business and one of Walmart’s largest solar vendors.
On another note, while at Walmart, President Obama said, “Two years ago, I ordered $2 billion in energy upgrades to federal buildings. Today, I’m ordering an additional $2 billion in upgrades over the next three years.”