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Once the 60 additional Walmart stores receive solar panels, the company's solar portfolio will total over 75 percent of its stores in California

Walmart is taking part in the adoption of greener technologies throughout California by installing solar panels on its stores. It announced today that it will install solar panels on 60 more California stores.

"California presents a great opportunity for Walmart to make significant progress toward our sustainability goals by installing solar power on more than 130 store rooftops throughout the state," said Kim Saylors-Laster, Walmart vice president of energy. "Walmart has reduced energy expenses by more than a million dollars through our solar program, allowing us to pass these savings on to our customers in the form of everyday low prices."

Walmart has partnered with SolarCity in this endeavor, which is a San Mateo, California-based solar company that will install and maintain the new systems.

Once the 60 additional Walmart stores receive solar panels, the company's solar portfolio will total over 75 percent of its stores in California. This will generate up to 70 million kilowatt hours of clean, renewable energy per year, which can power 5,400 homes. This total effort will also provide 20 to 30 percent of each store's electric needs, and avoid the production of more than 21,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. This is equivalent to taking 4,100 cars off of the road.

"Walmart's effort to expand and accelerate its solar power initiative program here in California demonstrates their commitment to sustainability," said Mary D. Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board. "These kinds of projects create jobs, reduce costs for businesses by lowering power bills, and protect the environment. We appreciate Walmart's leadership and encourage other businesses to follow Walmart's lead."

Walmart's efforts has created more than 500 new full-time jobs since the beginning of this project, and expects to hire "hundreds" more before the end of the year.

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Price Tag?
By SnakeBlitzken on 9/22/2011 10:26:01 AM , Rating: 2
Just wondering....

RE: Price Tag?
By BZDTemp on 9/22/2011 10:59:01 AM , Rating: 2
Hard to tell but you can be sure it is making financial sense.

Now for someone as big as Walmart the cost per watt will certainly be much smaller than for individual home owners, but there are certainly other business that have big warehouses which should be able to do like Walmart.

RE: Price Tag?
By Taft12 on 9/22/2011 11:16:13 AM , Rating: 2
The money is going to pay for positive PR along with the electricity generated.

Still, I hope this inspires other big square footage retailers to do the same

RE: Price Tag?
By therealnickdanger on 9/22/2011 11:50:00 AM , Rating: 3
The bulk of the money this makes for them will be in tax breaks.

"Walmart would like to thank the California tax payers for the state rebates as well as the rest of America's tax payers for the federal rebates."
- direct quote by Sam Walton, back from the grave

RE: Price Tag?
By idiot77 on 9/22/2011 12:21:07 PM , Rating: 2
I see, so if a school district in CA does this it's the end of America.

If Walmart does it, it must be smart.


RE: Price Tag?
By Steve1981 on 9/22/2011 12:43:18 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't call it the end of the world for a school district in CA to use solar panels; with any luck, they've competently studied the costs vs the benefits.

However, in the case of Walmart, it does make more sense for them to invest in solar; it helps to hedge their bets against long term energy prices, but more importantly its great for PR.

RE: Price Tag?
By Solandri on 9/22/2011 1:44:31 PM , Rating: 2
I see, so if a school district in CA does this it's the end of America.

If Walmart does it, it must be smart.

Wal-mart has plenty of cash in the bank to spend buying something which will take a decade or two to pay for itself. The California government does not.

It's the same reason it's no problem for someone with >$100k in savings to buy a new car, but ridiculous for someone with $25k in credit card debt to buy a new car. I think the overall consensus in the school district article was that the panels would pay for themselves eventually. People were just questioning the wisdom of the state school district splurging on something like that when the state budget has such a huge shortfall.

RE: Price Tag?
By Steve1981 on 9/22/2011 1:59:25 PM , Rating: 2
The California government does not.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but school funding in California is at least partially based on the local property taxes, and in spite of attempts to even out funding, there is still considerable inequality among the various school districts. As such, while the state itself might be broke, San Ramon is a reasonably affluent area that might not have as much troubles with school funding as other parts of the state.

RE: Price Tag?
By DockScience on 9/22/2011 3:07:03 PM , Rating: 2
I am sure it's making sense for Wal-Mart, but the taxpayers are picking up a large part of the bill. Solar City is getting a quarter BILLION in federal loan guarantees to pay for this.

Corporate welfare in green boots.

RE: Price Tag?
By JonnyDough on 9/23/2011 2:54:36 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention that short-term studies show that Wal-Mart gives a boost to local economy, while long-term studies have proven that Wal-Mart KILLS local economy. :( Let's see, do we want jobs in ten years or do we want to channel our local cash to some big wigs sitting in a mansion? You decide. We've had Wal-Marts through out history. They're called MARKETS - where mom and pop stores could have a storefront and you could find everything you needed in one place. We don't need Wal-mart for ANYTHING! Run them out of town! Groceries? That's what co-ops are for. It's funny because Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart would be appalled if he knew what his spoiled bratty kids were up to.

RE: Price Tag?
By FauxNews on 9/26/2011 6:54:58 PM , Rating: 2

Don't be silly, Wal-Mart creates TONS of jobs.


They're just not in the USA.

RE: Price Tag?
By Dr of crap on 9/23/2011 10:22:51 AM , Rating: 2
The Wamart stores here have many skylights in the roof. On sunny days they do not have the ceiling lights on but use the light coming through the sky lights. When I saw that I thought is was a great cost savings for them.
Inovative and cost savings. I don't know of anyone else doing that.
This solar stuff just adds to their savings.

RE: Price Tag?
By mars2k on 9/23/2011 12:40:53 PM , Rating: 2
Gee the paranoiacs, conspiracy theorists, and mathematically challenged jumped in on this one feet first. Did anybody really read the article? Solar City does the install in a leasing package. They are making a business of it. They have already done the heavy lifting. They provide design, installation, and maintenance all bundled with financing in the form of a lease most likely. So what if a side benefit is some PR? This sort of thing is done all the time in large businesses. It has to make sense economically or they would not have done it.
By the way Walmart having cash “unlike the public schools” has nothing to do with whether a public school should do this or not. Your lack of understanding of that issue is profound. Leasing is just another way of financing something and for the most part very little cash goes out compared to just writing a check. In fact if a public school could get a good lease from a supplier like SolarCity (or anybody else on anything else leasable) it might allow them to hang on to a pile of cash.
I say the more the merrier on this solar thing. Let Walmart and other large institutions put up panels till their hearts are content. Let them make it up with the economies of scale. All the better for the rest of us and the sooner this technology will drop in price.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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