Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, has installed its 100th rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system, on a retail store in Mason, Ohio. Since installing its first PV system in 2007, Walgreens has expanded its plans to bring solar power to more than 130 stores and distribution centers in Connecticut, New Jersey, California, Oregon and Ohio by the end of the year. The company said the rooftop solar systems will help offset the stores’ energy usage by about 15 to 20 percent.
The announcement marks Walgreens’ 53rd solar installation in Ohio. The Ohio projects are made possible by a partnership between Walgreens and Chicago-based solar lease provider SoCore Energy, which will own, maintain and monitor the PV systems. SoCore and Walgreens will sell renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the systems to First Energy Solutions. Ohio’s renewable portfolio standard requires investor-owned utilities to generate 25 percent of their electricity from renewable resources by 2025.
The Ohio installations were funded, in part, by a $5.2 million loan from the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority. The remainder of the project’s $9.9 million cost is being funded by SoCore and a federal solar tax credit. “This is an important milestone for us as we continue to explore ways to expand our use of environmentally-friendly technology to reduce our energy consumption,” said Mark Wagner, Walgreens President of Community Management and Operations. “Our use of solar power across Ohio is a great example of how businesses, state officials and developers of green technologies can work together to help make a difference in our communities and for the planet.”
Walgreens became the nation’s first drugstore chain to install a geothermal energy system at one of its stores in Oak Park, Ill., last November. The company has also announced plans to install electric vehicle charging stations at select stores across the United States.