Walmart Puerto Rico and SunEdison, North America's largest solar energy services provider, today announced plans to deploy rooftop solar systems on five Walmart PR stores with the potential for 23 stores over five years. The project will be the largest renewable energy project ever developed on the island. Given traditional energy rates, the systems will provide Walmart long-term predictably priced solar-generated energy.
Under a solar power services agreement with Walmart, SunEdison will finance, own, build and operate the photovoltaic solar energy systems, which deliver long-term, low-risk returns to project financiers. Construction on the first 895kW rooftop system at Walmart Supercenter Caguas is scheduled to begin before the end of 2009.
Each solar power-generating system installed may vary, but across the Puerto Rico sites, on average a system can provide 25 to 35 percent of the power for the store or club on which it is installed. Throughout the duration of a 15 year contract, the zero-emission systems are projected to produce 90 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity.
Renzo Casillo, president & CEO of Walmart Puerto Rico added that, "we are transforming every aspect of our operation, and that includes energy consumption. Today, our new Walmart stores are 21 percent more energy-efficient than our original 2005 stores. Through the implementation of energy-saving strategies and the installation of energy-efficient equipments, last year we achieved an 8.7 percent reduction in energy consumption compared to the previous year. With this solar energy project we'll continue to broaden our efforts towards our main objective and commitment of being supplied 100 percent by renewable energy".
SunEdison COO Carlos Domenech said, "We commend Walmart's aggressive leadership in renewable energy as a model for all industries. Our collaboration in Puerto Rico will provide a long-term financial return on Walmart's investment in energy. The project also brings the solar industry to Puerto Rico with well-paying jobs for the island on top of the reduction of greenhouse gases to improve the environment."