Walmart today launched an expansion of its solar initiative in Arizona at its Buckeye distribution center near Phoenix.
The distribution center will feature Walmart’s largest solar installation to date with more than 14,000 solar panels on a 1 MSF building and parking canopies that will produce up to 30% of the center’s energy needs.
The solar panels at the distribution center alone will generate up to 5.3 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy per year, which is the equivalent of powering more than 400 homes and taking equivalent of approximately 600 cars off the road.
Making use of one of the region’s most obvious resources, Walmart is expanding its sustainability efforts in Arizona at its Buckeye distribution center, one of Walmart’s largest structures.
This is the company’s second distribution center solar project in Arizona, coming just over a year after 2 MW project in Casa Grande, Arizona, that used a combination of ground mounted and solar shaded parking canopy structures. According to the U.S. Solar Market Insight Report, Arizona ranks third in the U.S. for solar installations.
“Environmental sustainability is an essential ingredient to us for doing business responsibly and successfully,” said David Ozment, Senior Director of Walmart Energy. “As the world’s largest retailer, our actions have the potential to save our customers money and help substantially reduce our carbon footprint for generations to come.”
Given the size of the Buckeye solar installation, the combination of ground mounted, roof mounted, and shaded canopy structures at Arizona distribution centers Walmart will be better positioned to transfer learnings to other Walmart facilities across the country.
“Arizona has established itself as a national and global leader in the solar industry,” Gov. Jan Brewer said. “The fact that Walmart has the vision to recognize the benefits of renewable energy shows great promise for the future of solar in our state.”
Since launching its solar pilot program in May 2007, Walmart strengthened its commitment to renewable energy across the country. Currently, Walmart has more than 180 renewable energy projects in operation and development around the world, generating enough energy to power 78,000 American homes annually.
These renewable energy projects include solar rooftops, micro-wind on parking lots, biodiesel generators and fuel cells. In fact, the company recently unveiled the addition of a 1MW wind turbine at its Red Bluff distribution center in California, as well as the 100th solar installation in the state.
The combined focus on renewable energy in Arizona and across the country contributes to the company’s aspirational goal to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy.
“In person, the solar installation at Walmart’s Buckeye distribution center is even more inspiring than it was when Walmart and SolarCity first envisioned it,” said Albert Laird, SolarCity Arizona Regional Vice President. “It represents our largest installation on a single building and clearly reflects Walmart’s ongoing commitment to renewable energy.”