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Today’s Walmart Special: Solar Energy

July 23, 2013

A Riverside Walmart is getting solar panels, part of the company's growing commitment to include the renewable energy resource in its corporate portfolio.

The Riverside South store is located on Van Buren Boulevard. It is part of Walmart's recent move to install solar panels at up to 60 stores in California, which would bring the number of the retail giant's solar-powered stores in the state to 130 by the end of this year.

Walmart estimates that its energy expenses have been cut by more than $1 million because of its solar commitment, which encompasses 216 projects across the United States. Last year, a report from the Solar Energy Industries Association found that Walmart used more solar power than any other U.S. corporation, with a total installed capacity of 65,000 kilowatts.

In California alone, Walmart's increased solar commitment is estimated to generate up to 70 million kilowatt hours of energy, or what could power more than 5,400 homes, the company stated. It would also cut back on carbon emissions by more than 21,700 metric tons. The solar energy produced by the panels provides between 20 and 30 percent of each store's power needs.

"Walmart's effort to expand and accelerate its solar power initiative program here in California demonstrates their commitment to sustainability. These kinds of projects create jobs, reduce costs for businesses by lowering power bills, and protect the environment," said Mary D. Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, in a statement. "We appreciate Walmart's leadership and encourage other businesses to follow Walmart's lead."

"Our solar efforts in California have proven to be a great way for Walmart to build our renewable energy program," said Mack Wyckoff, senior manager of renewable energy at Walmart. "We are confident that we will continue to grow our solar energy program in the U.S. and around the world because of the initial success we have had in California."

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