Walmart, SunPower To Collaborate For Solar Energy Project In Illinois
Walmart has announced that it has reached an agreement with sustainable energy provider SunPower to instal solar energy production systems in 21 of its facilities in Illinois.
Nineteen stores and two distribution centres will be equipped with a mix of rooftop and ground-mount solar panels, which are expected to generate 23 megawatts of energy.
'A Vital Component'
The vice-president of energy for Walmart, Inc., Mark Vanderhelm, said, “Solar is a vital component of Walmart’s expanding renewable energy portfolio.
“Walmart plans to tirelessly pursue renewable energy projects that are right for our customers, our business and the environment. These planned projects with SunPower are moving us in the right direction toward our renewable energy goals.”
Construction is expected to start in the first half of 2019.
Walmart is financing the solar projects through a power purchase agreement (PPA) arranged by SunPower.
It will allow Walmart to buy power at competitive prices and hedge against future utility rate increases with no up-front capital costs.
SunPower's executive vice-president for commercial Americas, Nam Nguyen, said, “As the top US commercial solar provider and with over 30 years of experience, SunPower is well positioned to help Walmart increase its renewable energy investments in a cost-effective manner.”
Walmart will own the renewable energy credits associated with the system.
A Smart Investment
In Illinois, solar energy is considered to be a smart investment for commercial customers because of state policies and rising utility rates.
The new installations will result in a 25% increase in the state's solar capacity and are expected to generate enough electricity to power nearly 30,000 homes.
“Illinois Solar Energy Association is committed to advancing solar locally, enabling companies like Walmart – with stores and employees across our great state – to realise the economic and environmental value of renewable energy,” said Lesley McCain, executive director of the Illinois Solar Energy Association.
McCain also acknowledged that these projects have the potential to create jobs for hundreds of residents.
The move is in line with Walmart’s commitment to supplying its global operations with 50% renewable energy by 2025.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.