Walmart and SunPower Partner for Solar-Powered Illinois Stores

by | Oct 25, 2018

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Walmart recently announced it has reached an agreement with SunPower to have the commercial energy provider install solar systems at 19 stores and two distribution centers in Illinois.

As part of the project, a mix of rooftop and ground-mount solar systems are expected to account for 23 megawatts, with start of construction targeted for the first half of 2019. This commitment moves Walmart closer to its 2025 goal of supplying its global operations with 50% renewable energy.

Walmart is financing the solar projects through a power purchase agreement (PPA) arranged by SunPower, which allows the retailer to buy power at competitive prices and hedge against future utility rate increases with no upfront capital costs. Walmart will own the renewable energy credits associated with the system.

In Illinois, smart state policy and rising utility rates make solar a popular investment for commercial customers. These installations will represent a 25% increase in Illinois’ current solar capacity and will generate enough electricity to power nearly 30,000 homes.

Walmart’s Renewable Energy Focus

Earlier this month, Walmart’s Project Gigaton asked suppliers to collectively eliminate 1 gigaton of emissions by 2030. In an effort to help Walmart’s mission, GE Lighting has helped convert Walmart shoppers from traditional light bulbs to energy-efficient LEDs over the last two years.

GE offers more than 100 energy-saving LED products at Walmart, including 36 ENERGY STAR LEDs, all $2 to $4 bulbs; ensuring consumers can make the switch to an ultra-efficient LED at every-day low prices.

And in August, Walmart released a summary of its eleventh annual Global Responsibility Report (GRR), highlighting the company’s progress and accomplishments in fiscal year 2018 to increase economic opportunity, enhance sustainability of supply chains and strengthen local communities.

Walmart has made significant progress towards ambitious goals set more than a decade ago including to be powered by 100% renewable energy, create zero waste and sell products that sustain people and the environment. The company has further broadened its bold aspirations, marking a number of milestones in fiscal year 2018, including: significant investments in higher wages, training and increased parental leave for associates; a collaborative initiative with suppliers across the value chain to remove one billion metric tons, or one gigaton, of emissions by 2030 known as Project Gigaton; and further collaborations with suppliers, nonprofit organizations and others to combat forced labor in the global supply chain.

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