Posted February 11, 2020 12:15:10Walmart is opening new solar-powered space heat the following stores, including one in Berkeley, California.
The company said Tuesday that it is adding more than 2,000 solar-power systems in its three new stores, which are being constructed at locations in Berkeley and Oakland, California, to provide more than 10 percent of the company’s electricity to the company by 2020.
“This new solar energy storage is a step forward for our local community and a step toward our goal to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels,” said Chris Stacey, vice president of Walmart Stores for North America.
“These new stores will provide thousands of solar panels to help meet our energy needs.”
Walmart’s decision comes as solar panels are gaining popularity in cities like San Francisco, Boston, and New York.
Walmart is also building solar-equipped stores in Chicago and Philadelphia.
The company also said it has installed more than 8,000 new solar panels in its stores and has invested in more than 6,000 projects in California.
Walmart will start installing solar panels at the three new store openings.
It said it plans to install solar panels on at least 20 of its locations by 2020, and to install more than 1,000 panels by 2020 in addition to the stores it has already opened in Berkeley.
The new stores are expected to open by the end of 2021.
According to the American Solar Council, which represents solar energy companies, the company is one of the top solar installers in the country.
The solar panels will provide a source of energy for Walmart stores that are equipped with electric blankets, which use a solar panel to capture energy and store it in the local grid.
The blanket can then be used to charge electric vehicles when the customer is not in the store, store manager Eric Hahn said.
Solar power is also being deployed to help Walmart save on the energy used to heat its stores.
Walmart has announced plans to buy more than 100,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of solar power for its new stores.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) said the solar panels could provide up to 25 percent of Walmart’s energy needs in the United States by 2020 and that they could cost less than $100 per watt.
“These new solar facilities are an important step forward in the company moving forward with its commitment to meet the electricity needs of its local communities and providing clean, affordable electricity to our customers,” SEIA said in a statement.
Walmart said it expects the solar energy to be in place by the first quarter of 2021 at all its new solar stores.