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Walmart and SolarCity have completed projects at eight Walmart stores and two Sam’s Clubs across the state of Maryland. The energy produced by the new installations will generate about 4.1 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually -- enough energy to power almost 370 homes, according to the EPA calculator -- and is expected to provide between 5 percent and 20 percent of each store’s overall electricity use.
“In Maryland, we’ve set some of the most ambitious goals in the nation for advancing clean renewable energy and creating green jobs,” said Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. “We’re helping businesses take advantage of solar incentives so they can save money while embracing the job-creating, planet-saving potential of our green economy.” He called the Walmart-SolarCity partnership “a significant step forward toward a more sustainable future for generations to come.”
With more than 13,400 solar panels, the Walmart stores in Arbutus, Berlin, California, Cockeysville, Fallston, Hagerstown, Laurel and Severn, along with the Sam’s Clubs in Salisbury and Severn, will provide more than 3.1 megawatts of generation capacity.
“Walmart is a leader in clean energy here in Maryland and across the country,” noted Lyndon Rive, CEO of San Mateo, Calif.-based SolarCity. “Walmart is setting an example for companies in Maryland to follow; it’s possible for many Maryland businesses to pay less for solar power than they currently pay for electricity.”
This latest series of solar-energy systems in Maryland brings the total number of Walmart and Sam’s Club locations with SolarCity installations to nearly 150 across various states, with additional locations to be added. Last year, SolarCity installed Walmart’s largest solar-power system at the mega-retailer’s distribution center in Buckeye, Ariz.
“Solar power makes sense for Walmart, and it makes sense for Maryland,” observed David Ozment, senior director of energy at Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart. “We are committed to increasing the use of renewable energy, including solar panels, at our stores in Maryland and throughout the country.”
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., generates a total of more than 1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity around the world annually. It also has more than 300 renewable energy projects in operation or under development around the world. With a goal to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy, the company aims to install solar panels on a minimum of 1,000 U.S. stores by 2020.
In other Walmart news, the mega-retailer is opening its first store under the Neighborhood Market banner on New York’s Long Island, in the town of Levittown, according to published reports. The 49,395-square-foot location is slated to open next week.