Walmart inks solar contracts with SolarCity, SunEdison

Dive Brief:

  • Walmart has announced new contracts with SolarCity and SunEdison to install PV panels at up to 400 of its stores and distribution centers nationwide in the next four years. 
  • The retail giant says the deal will help it meet its goal of sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. SolarCity and SunEdison were selected for the contracts following an RFP process.
  • Installation size will vary by location, but Walmart says smaller systems will likely provide 10% to 20% of a facility's electrical needs, while larger systems will contribute 20% to 30%.

​Dive Insight:

Walmart, by virtue of its size and renewable acquisition policies, already leads the nation in terms of commercial PV installations, with 260 solar projects contributing 105 MW of clean power, according to a recent report from the Solar Electric Industries Association.

Now the world's largest retailer is partnering with two of the largest solar installers to provide up to 400 more PV projects at its facilities in 36 states over the next four years. Walmart says the deal is crucial to help it meet its goal of consuming 100% renewable energy by 2020. 

“These projects bring us closer to fulfilling our commitment to double the number of on-site solar energy projects in U.S. stores, Sam’s Clubs and distribution centers—thereby reducing our energy expenses and generating clean energy in local communities," said Kim Saylors-Laster, Walmart vice president of energy, in a press release.

Details are scant on just how many solar projects each company will install, but Walmart says the choice to contract with SolarCity and SunEdison wasn't a difficult one.

“SunEdison is one of Walmart’s earliest solar providers with projects dating back to 2007,” said Katherine Jennrich, senior manager of energy services at Walmart, in a press release. “And, SolarCity has been Walmart’s largest solar provider, installing more than 200 projects together since 2010.”

Since Walmart's last solar announcement in 2013, SolarCity says it has installed nearly 50 large-scale PV projects at Walmart facilities, including projects in Arizona, California, New York, Oregon and Puerto Rico. 


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Filed Under: Generation Solar & Renewables Corporate News
Top image credit: Flickr; Walmart