Walmart goes solar in Puerto Rico

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Walmart announced the deployment of five rooftop solar arrays for Walmart and Sam’s Club locations in Puerto Rico. The solar program is made possible through a solar energy service agreement where Sun Edison, a subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials, will design, deploy, operate and maintain over three megawatts of solar technologies across the five locations with no upfront costs to Walmart.

In return, Walmart stores will use the energy being generated on its rooftops to offset demand from the grid and buy the energy at long-term predictable energy rates — creating long-term energy savings.

Walmart and SunEdison commemorated the occasion at a “flip the switch” event that was held at the Walmart in Caguas. The Caguas Walmart houses more than 3,200 solar photovoltaic panels and is expected to generate more than 1 million kilowatt hours of energy annually — meeting over 20% of the store’s energy needs.

As part of its Sustainability Program implemented in 2006, Walmart Puerto Rico has other important initiatives like building new stores that are 30% more energy efficient and the significant reduction of solid waste at all of its locations. 

“We are committed to diversify our sources of energy because our final goal is to depend 100% on renewable energy. The installation of the most advanced technology in solar energy in five of our stores in Puerto Rico means that more than 100 million lbs. of carbon dioxide will not be generated for the next 15 years, and that makes a positive impact in our environment,” said Javier Rojo, Walmart Puerto Rico’s development director.

SunEdison has previously deployed over 2.7MW of solar for Walmart in California and Hawaii, including a 1.1 MW solar power plant at a distribution center in Apple Valley, Calif.