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Walmart's 100th Solar Installation in San Diego
Last Friday Brian Merchant the “Energy/Renewable Energy” writer over at Treehugger reported that the Solar Power Generating Systems California Public Utilities Commission submitted their renewable energy progress report for the 2012 first and second quarter to the state’s legislature.
The good news is that 20.6% of the state's power demand was handled by renewables like solar.
Accompanying the article was a photo of a roof outfitted with solar panels in the foreground. The tops of palm trees dotted the roofline while the pristine snow-topped San Gabriel Mountains of California stood in the background as prominent as the solar panels.
The juxtaposition of nature and solar panels in a photo is not unusual but the image provided is striking and evokes California immediately. But the picture has a dirty little secret: the roof belongs to a Walmart in Covina. Merchant even put an exclamation point after the photo’s caption -“Walmart!”
Not even a week before Merchant’s article Walmart announced that their store on College Avenue in San Diego is now the 100th California Walmart using rooftop solar panels to generate power.
In the press release they estimated what the combined savings and capability of these 100 solar powered buildings will be:
-Generate up to 70 million kilowatt hours of clean, renewable energy per year, which is the equivalent of powering more than 5,400 homes
-Avoid producing more than 21,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is the equivalent of taking approximately 4,100 cars off the road.
-Provide 10 to 30 percent of each facility's total electricity needs.
The company wide solar pilot program began in May of 2007. Last year Walmart ramped up their efforts in California when it set a goal to have 75 percent of its stores (about 130) in the state utilizing solar by the end of 2013.
Walmart will continue to work with companies based in the state like SolarCity who will manage 70 out of the 100 solar power systems. SolarCity has hired over a thousand employees since Walmart first contracted with them in September of 2010.
Merchant concluded with: “Renewable energy continues to be a bright spot in an economy still wracked by unemployment; good jobs, cleaner power, additional income for consumers—California has, on this front, built a successful model well worth emulating.”
That lone bright spot may have come from a big-box store reviled for many of their practices and their existence in our communities but it seems few of their sustainability efforts (if not considered sincere) are at least effective.
1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.
1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.
2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.