By Anders Lorenzen
Sweden’s IKEA does it, so does the United Kingdom’s Sainsbury’s and now USA’s Walmart does it too. We’re not talking about some new groundbreaking furniture or food project but about renewable energy.
On 15th May Walmart announced the completion of eight new solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays in Massachusetts at its Walpole Store.
With almost 10,000 panels, the solar PV arrays throughout the state will provide 2.8 million kilowatt hours (kWh) annually, saving approximately 1,484 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2e) annually – roughly the equivalent of taking 309 cars off the road.
It was marked at an event at its Walpole store, which on its own will generate more than 380,000 kWh annually, saving roughly 200 metric tons of CO2e per year.
Commenting on the project David Ozment, senior director of energy at Walmart said:
“The stores in Massachusetts demonstrate our commitment to increasing the share of renewable energy that powers our stores and improving energy efficiency, we believe in helping our customers live better by providing every day low cost and more environmentally friendly alternatives, like renewables. It’s our goal to eventually be supplied by 100 percent renewable energy.’’
In Europe supermarket retailer Sainsbury’s and furniture chain Ikea has received praise for their aggressive approach towards renewable energy. Last year Sainsbury’s claimed to be the largest solar power generator in Europe boasting 70.000 solar panels in 170 of its stores. IKEA plans to be 75% powered by renewable sources by 2015 and 100% by 2020.
According to Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Commissioner, Mark Sylvia, the state is starting to see the benefits of its Governor, Deval Patrick’s, leadership and success in energy efficiency and solar energy which have placed Massachusetts at the head of the clean energy revolution.
“Investments from business leaders like Walmart have helped the Commonwealth meet our 250 megawatt solar goal four years early and earn the #1 national ranking in energy efficiency two years in a row.”
Andrew Chester of Greenskies Renewable Energy, LCC, who worked with Walmart on the project, said of the partnership: “We are proud to partner with companies like Walmart to help them achieve their renewable energy goals by producing clean solar power and reducing their operating expenses.”
Walmart is the world’s third biggest corporation and the largest retailer in the world. It will undoubtedly be a big boost to the global green economy that they’re seeing renewables as the future in powering their stores.
Sub edited by Charlotte Paton