Solar Rises in Ohio, Thanks to Walmart

The amount of solar used in Ohio is about to rise by 10% – why?

Simply because Walmart is installing solar PV on the roofs of 12 stores in the state.

This demonstrates the influence a huge corporation’s shift to renewable energy can have. With 4.5 megawatts of solar, Walmart has about a tenth of all solar in Ohio, the largest single solar power user in the state.

Nine stores in the Dayton-Cincinnati area and three others in Ohio are about to start producing power. SolarCity installed and owns the solar systems and Walmart will buy the electricity – enough to supply 10-15% of each store’s electricity.

"Wal-Mart’s installation of solar on 12 store rooftops is the largest solar commitment ever made by a retail business in Ohio," Bill Spratley, executive director of Green Energy Ohio told Dayton Daily News.

Walmart solar

Walmart is committed to running fully on renewable energy – it has 240 solar systems operating or underway worldwide and recently installed its first wind turbines.

It’s currently the leading corporation in the US for on-site renewable energy, but that only fulfills about 4% of demand.

Last year, Walmart completed its biggest solar system to date – 3.3 MW on a distribution center near Phoenix, Arizona,  producing 30% of its electricity.

That’s a key factor behind Walmart’s announcement that it has reduced greenhouse gas emissions 20% (from 2005 levels) a year ahead of schedule.

Other recent corporate commitments are evaluating buyers on the sustainable products they purchase and by 2017, 70% of all products sold in the US will come from suppliers that use its Sustainability Index.

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