Walmart expands solar commitment in Colorado

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart announced six SolarCity projects on stores in Colorado, marking the company's 100th solar power installation in the United States and moving it closer to its long-term goal of using 100% renewable energy for all its retail and distribution facilities.

“Solar power continues to show promise as an alternative to traditional power for its environmental and economic benefits,” said Kim Saylors-Laster, Walmart VP energy. “We are proud to work with SolarCity and the state of Colorado on this project that creates local jobs, and ultimately helps Walmart reduce its energy costs, so that we can continue to pass on savings to our customers."

The installations, totaling two megawatts on three stores in Westminster and one each in Lakewood, Highlands Ranch and Lafayette, will help Colorado meet its ambitious renewable energy goals. Colorado hopes to produce 30% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. These projects demonstrate that solar can be cost-effective even in the large flat-roof environment where high wind and snow can pose challenges for solar projects, Walmart said.

Despite the winter weather, Colorado currently ranks fifth among the country's top 10 states for the total amount of solar capacity installed. SolarCity engineered and delivered a customized, cost-effective solution to meet the requirements of large, flat rooftop-solar systems operating in the Rocky Mountain climate.

When complete, Walmart's SolarCity projects in Colorado are expected to generate nearly three million kilowatt-hours of clean, renewable energy per year, which is the equivalent of powering more than 225 homes.

“With these six solar power systems in Colorado, we reach an exciting milestone of 100 solar power installations on U.S. Walmart stores, clubs, and distribution centers,” said Marty Gilbert, Walmart director of energy.