18-month initiative to produce 10.5 MW of clean energy
The American Retail Giant; Walmart announced its intention to set-up solar panels on the roof-top of almost half of all its stores in Massachusetts. This initiative is expected to start by August 2012.
The construction is currently in an engineering phase, and Walmart officials said they are still in search for licenses and permits. After completion of the project, the solar panels on the stores will be able to provide 10.5 MW of energy, which is equivalent to the average consumption of 2,600 households.
The Director of energy programs at Walmart, David Ozment says that the approximately 10 to 15 percent of the energy generated will be used by the store. This is going to be providing saving for the company in the years ahead.
The plan proposed by Walmart, isn’t unique in its kind. In 2008, when the Governor Deval Patrick started to promote renewable energy to be installed on retail, flat roof tops, there have been profuse of supermarkets adopting the philosophy such as Stop & Shop, Webster and Burlington.
The governor encouraged large retailers to install solar power, and that was part of the states objective to install 250 MW of solar energy in Massachusetts before 2017. In other words, it is enough energy to light 37,500 households.
At the moment, the state has already reached above 40 percent of its aim, with 105 MW of energy installed. Walmart will help to push up the number even further.
According to Patrick, it will be another step in supporting the Commonwealth clean-energy mission. In other regions such as in California, Arizona, and Hawaii, solar panels have already been installed on Walmart’s stores. There is additional project envisaged in Colorado & New Jersey. In total the company has 50 MW of energy capacity, within the United States, which is equivalent to the energy needs of 12,500 households.
The solar panels will be installed by Greenskies Renewable Energy LLC, which is a Connecticut-oriented company dealing with the ownership and running of the solar system. They will sell the energy generated to Walmart to use within the stores, and the giant retail; Wal-Mart aims at having competitively priced energy supplied to their outlets.
Initially, Greenskies installed solar panels over 10 stores and in the second phase the remaining 17th. The project will be of a time-span of 18 months and will cost around $31.5 million.
It is evident that solar makers, and solar-energy suppliers comprehend that the technology is now economic and environmentally sound.
Source: Boston Globe