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20-plus Wal-Mart Units Getting Solar Power Systems

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Adding to its list of green initiatives, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is adding solar-power systems to about 22 of its facilities in California and Hawaii, working with solar power providers.

Wal-Mart said it expects the stores included in the pilot project to achieve savings over their current utility rates as soon as the first day of operation.

One of Wal-Mart’s solar power partners, SunEdison, said yesterday it had installed the first of four solar power systems in Hawaii for the retailer. The 283 kW DC solar power system at a Sam’s Club on Keeaumoku Street was financed, constructed, and will be maintained for Wal-Mart by SunEdison under a solar power services agreement (SPSA).

Another Wal-Mart partner, SunPower also installed a 390-kilowatt system recently at a Sam's Club store in Chino, Calif. It is the first of seven solar-power systems to be added to the store. The seven systems will have a total annual generating capacity of 4.6 megawatts, according to the companies.

Wal-Mart said it expected the systems going into operation in the pilot to reduce its annual greenhouse-gas emissions by 8,000 to 10,000 metric tons.

Wal-Mart is currently testing renewable energy technologies, such as wind and solar power generation, in its experimental stores in McKinney, Texas and Aurora, Colorado. Along with the knowledge gained from these stores, the company has said it will use the results of the pilot project and its solar power purchase to explore additional ways to achieve its renewable energy goals and determine how to move forward with solar power generation at additional Wal-Mart stores, Sam’s Clubs, and distribution centers.

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