You may have heard tell about this whole newfangled eco-thing Walmart has been getting into, and while it may be no more than a bit of penance for the colossal carbon footprint of world’s largest retailer, it’s no joke, either. Environmental Leader reports that Wal-Mart recently installed more than 5,300 solar panels at their Apple Valley distribution center in California, which will generate about a megawatt of electricity.
The new ground-mounted installation in Apple Valley covers about seven acres and provides sufficient power for the equivalent of 175 homes–enough power for about 20 percent of the energy needs of the 1.3 million square foot distribution center. According to the LA Times Greenspace blog, Walmart completed three other solar projects earlier this month in Paramount, Baldwin Park and San Bernardino as well.
The Apple Valley Distribution Center solar project is part of a pilot project Walmart first announced in May of 2007 to purchase solar power for up to 22 Walmart stores, Sam’s Club locations and distribution centers in California and Hawaii–a project which was substantially extended in 2009, with the announcement that Walmart would nearly double its solar energy use in California. Walmart’s overall goal is an ambitious one: to use 100 percent renewable energy. (A deadline has not been set.)