WALPOLE, Mass., May 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Walmart today announced the completion of eight new solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays in Massachusetts with an event at its Walpole store, demonstrating the store's solar array for state and local officials, environmental leaders and other guests.
"The stores in Massachusetts demonstrate our commitment to increasing the share of renewable energy that powers our stores and improving energy efficiency," said David Ozment, senior director of energy at Walmart. "We believe in helping our customers live better by providing every day low cost and more environmentally friendly alternatives, like renewables. It's our goal to eventually be supplied by 100 percent renewable energy."
With almost 10,000 panels, the solar PV arrays throughout the state will provide 2.8 million kilowatt hours (kWh) annually, saving approximately 1,484 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2e) annually – roughly the equivalent of taking 309 cars off the road.* The Walpole store alone will generate more than 380,000 kWh annually, saving roughly 200 metric tons of CO2e per year.
"Governor Patrick's leadership and our remarkable success in energy efficiency and solar energy have placed Massachusetts at the head of the clean energy revolution," said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia. "Investments from business leaders like Walmart have helped the Commonwealth meet our 250 megawatt solar goal four years early and earn the #1 national ranking in energy efficiency two years in a row."
"The Environmental League of Massachusetts is proud to partner with Walmart, and appreciates Walmart's support of ELM's work with young people. Walmart has been an industry leader in combating climate change by incorporating energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies into their stores, and through their determination to make their suppliers as energy efficient as possible," said George Bachrach, President of the Environmental League of Massachusetts, which received a $30,000 award from the Walmart Foundation to support educational programs. "These are teachable moments for young people to learn practical methods for reducing greenhouse gas emissions."
The United States' EPA Green Power Partnership program ranked Walmart as the number one on-site green power generator/consumer in the U.S in 2013. Globally, renewable energy projects provide one billion kilowatt hours annually, or about 4 percent of electricity for Walmart buildings. The grid supplies another 17 percent, for a total of 21 percent renewable electricity as of the end of 2012. Walmart has 280 renewable energy projects in operation or under development, and continues to test solar, fuel cells, microwind, offsite wind projects, green power purchases and more.
Greenskies Renewable Energy, LLC, is the installer and owner of the system, partnering with Walmart through a power purchase agreement where Walmart buys the electricity produced by the system. For the project, Greenskies used Massachusetts union labor. The inverter for the solar PV array is from Massachusetts-based Solectria Renewables.
"Working on this and other Massachusetts solar installations with Walmart has been a great experience for us," said Andrew Chester of Greenskies, who gave a demonstration of solar technology to those in attendance. "We are proud to partner with companies like Walmart to help them achieve their renewable energy goals by producing clean solar power and reducing their operating expenses."
* According to the EPA calculator
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online and through their mobile devices. Each week, more than 245 million customers and members visit our more than 10,700 stores under 69 banners in 27 countries and e-commerce websites in 10 countries. With fiscal year 2013 sales of approximately $466 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com and http://www.walmartgreenroom.com/, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmartgreen. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.
SOURCE Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.