Walmart plans new Illinois solar farm - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Finance, Solar  -  October 24, 2018

Walmart plans 23 MW Illinois solar farm

Walmart plans to install a mix of rooftop and ground-mount solar panels at 19 of its stores and two distributions across Illinois, expected to total approximately 23 MW.

The project was confirmed on Oct. 23 through a PPA signed with the commercial energy provider SunPower and construction is expected to begin in the first half of 2019, according to a press release. Walmart predicts that the solar installation will annually offset the equivalent amount of carbon absorbed by over 24,000 acres of forest in one year.

The retail chain currently has a goal of supplying its global operation with 50% renewable energy by 2025. 

Through the agreement with SunPower, Walmart will own the renewable energy credits associated with the system and be protected from future utility rate increases.

“Solar is a vital component of Walmart’s expanding renewable energy portfolio,” Mark Vanderhelm, vice president of energy for Walmart Inc, said in a statement. “Walmart plans to tirelessly pursue renewable energy projects that are right for our customers, our business and the environment. These planned projects with SunPower are moving us in the right direction toward our renewable energy goals.”

The installation project will account for a 25% increase in Illinois' current solar capacity, creating enough electricity to power almost 30,000 homes.

“These projects will create hundreds of jobs for Illinois’ growing solar workforce while reducing pollution across the state,” Lesley McCain, executive director of the Illinois Solar Energy Association, said.

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