Walmart says it will increase the on-site solar energy generating capacity at its U.S. stores, Sam's Clubs and distribution centers to 7 billion kWh of electricity annually by 2020. The company made its announcement at an event in Mountain View, Calif., attended by President Barack Obama.
The solar array at the Mountain View store, installed by SolarCity, currently supplies 14.5% of the location's energy load. The president visited the store to highlight the importance of energy efficiency and renewables in support of his climate change initiative, which was bolstered by the release of a government report describing the threats posed by climate change earlier this week.
Walmart says the commitment to renewable energy will double its solar energy projects in the U.S. and Puerto Rico over the next six years compared to a 2013 baseline.
Walmart ranks as the top commercial solar energy user, according to the Solar Energy Industry Association, and is recognized as the largest on-site renewable energy user in America by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership.
‘We share the president's commitment to a sustainable energy future and applaud his willingness to partner with business on this important issue,’ says Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., in a statement. ‘We know from experience that investing in energy innovation allows us to save money, reduce carbon pollution, and create jobs.’