Big-box retailers are increasingly adding solar panels and wind turbines to sprawling stores to offset rising electricity costs and groom a "green" image.
Last week, Wal-Mart Stores announced it will add wind power to 360 Texas outlets. The company aims to power all stores with renewables eventually. So far, the retailer counting the largest amount of photovoltaics is Wisconsin-based Kohl's. Whole Foods is likely the first big name to add solar panels, starting in 2002 in Berkeley, Calif.
In the latest sign of government support for such efforts, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick called last week for all new malls and massive retailers to install solar panels. That state's rebates of up to 40 percent for photovoltaic installations are among the most attractive in the country for retailers eyeing regional and federal discounts for installing cleaner forms of energy.
This chart tracks some of the most noteworthy developments.
|Company||Begun||Capacity||Companies involved||Where||Estimated CO2 saved||Estimated equivalent resources saved|
|Whole Foods||2002||2.2 million KW hours/20 years||BP Solar, Princeton Energy Systems, PowerLight, Nextek Power Systems||24 percent of energy in Brentwood, lighting systems in Berkeley, Calif., 20 percent of energy in Edgewater, N.J. stores||140,000 lbs/year, 1,650 tons||440 cars|
|Wal-Mart||2005||Wind: 226 million KWH/year |
Solar pilot: 20 million KW hours/year for 22 sites
|Wind: Duke Energy |
Solar: BP Solar, SunEdison, PowerLight
|Wind: 15 percent energy for 350+ Texas stores |
Solar: 30 percent energy for 22 stores in Hawaii and Calif.
|Wind: 139,000 metric tons/year |
Solar pilot: up to 10,000 metric tons/year
|Wind: 25,000 cars/year; 18,000 homes/year|
|Safeway||2005||Solar: 10,000 MW hours/year
Wind: 87 million KW hours/year
|Unknown||Solar: 23 stores in Calif. |
Wind: all energy for 300 fuel stations; corporate offices; stores in San Francisco and Boulder, Colo.
|55,000 metric tons/year||Solar: 1,045 cars/year; 4,000 acres trees |
Wind: 45,000 acres trees
|BJ's Wholesale Club||2005||Solar: 480 KW||Billerica, Evergreen Solar, Solarex||14 clubs in 6 states||Unknown||Unknown|
|Target||2007||Solar: 9 million KW hours/year||Unknown||20 percent of energy for 18 stores in Calif.||4,586 tons to date||Planting 292 acres of trees; not driving 11.5 million miles to date|
|Kohl's||2007||Solar: 35 million KW hours/year in California alone (total unavailable)||SunEdison||30 to 40 percent of energy for 50+ stores in N.J., Conn. Md.; 3 in Wis., 25 in Calif.; 4 in Ore.||28 million lbs./1st year |
East Coast: 370 million lbs./20 years
|California: 2,500 cars/1 year
|REI||2008||Solar: 1.1 million KW hours/year||EI Solutions, Blue Oak Energy, Christenson Electric, Offset Electric||35 percent of energy for 7 stores in Calif.; 3 in Ore.; Tex., Colo.||880 metric tons||Powering 117 homes/year|
|North Face||2008||Solar: 1 MW||RayTracker, Suntech, EI Solutions, Recurrent Energy||Visalia, Calif., distribution center||1,300 metric tons/year||250 cars; saving 11 forest acres/year|
|JC Penney||2008||Solar: 4 MW||SunPower, Broadstar Wind Systems||Solar: 25 percent of energy for 5 stores in Calif.; 6 in N.J. |
Wind power for Reno, Nev. distribution center
|146,000 tons/30 years||800 cars/30 years|