Governor Schwartzenegger visits Wal-Mart Solar project
“Increasing the use of solar energy is the right thing to do for the environment and makes tremendous business sense, especially in these economic conditions,” said Kimberly Sentovich, Wal-Mart's California regional general manager.
“Thanks to Governor Schwarzenegger's leadership, California is an excellent environment for us to grow our investment in renewable energy and help create more green jobs for America. Wal-Mart is excited to continue collaborating with our partner BP Solar on expanding our solar footprint.”
“All over the state we are harnessing the power of the famous California sun and creating energy that is pollution free,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “This project is all about taking bold action so we can see solar panels on commercial rooftops all across California while putting people to work. Today's action helps prove that even in an economic downturn, it is possible to get serious about clean, renewable energy.”
“Wal-Mart is a leader in implementing cost-effective clean energy solutions,” said Christopher Lau, World Resources Institute's California Green Power Group manager. “With this commitment to expand the use of solar power, Wal-Mart demonstrates that businesses can pursue long-term sustainability goals during tough economic times to the benefit of the environment, customers, and bottom line.”
This latest series of projects is expected to create about 130 jobs, including engineering, design, and installer technician jobs. Smaller numbers of workers will be engaged during the periods leading up to and following peak construction.
Wal-Mart is committed to expanding its solar presence in California. As construction nears completion on this group of 10 to 20 sites, Wal-Mart will evaluate the feasibility of expanding the program to additional sites. The company will take into account a variety of factors, including available locations, economic conditions, energy prices, as well as local, state and federal renewable energy policies and programs.
Wal-Mart will continue learning from its renewable projects to find additional ways to achieve its goal of being supplied by 100 percent renewable energy. In November 2008, Wal-Mart announced a major purchase of wind energy that will supply up to 15 percent of the retailer's total energy load in approximately 350 Texas stores and other facilities.
In Puerto Rico, the company is planning to outfit up to five stores with solar panels this year, and expects the project to expand to 22 stores in the next five years. Additionally, Wal-Mart de Mexico will eliminate approximately 140 tons of CO2 emissions annually through the completed installation of more than 1000 solar panels on the roof of the Bodega Aurrera Aguascalientes.
Wal-Mart's ongoing commitment to renewable energy projects is helping the retailer build a more diversified energy portfolio and create more opportunities for advancements in clean energy through researchand innovations.
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