US Solar’s 36 one-megawatt (MW) community solar gardens will generate clean, renewable energy and provide energy savings to Walmart locations in 13 separate counties. The first solar gardens have completed construction and the remainder are targeted to be online by the first half of 2020.
Community solar in Minnesota allows businesses, public entities, and residents to subscribe to an offsite solar garden without having to site solar directly on their property, thereby enabling subscribers to reduce their retail electricity costs while also supporting clean, local energy. Subscribers receive energy savings in the form of a bill credit on their retail electric bill based on the amount of energy produced each month by their subscribed portion of the solar gardens.
“Solar is a vital component of Walmart’s expanding renewable energy portfolio,” said Mark Vanderhelm, VP of energy. “Walmart plans to tirelessly pursue renewable energy projects that are right for our customers, our business and the environment. This community solar gardens initiative with US Solar is moving us in the right direction toward our renewable energy goals.”
“We commend Walmart for their leadership in corporate renewable energy adoption and are proud to have Walmart as an anchor subscriber in so many of our projects, supporting further development of community solar in Minnesota,” said Martin Mobley, CEO of US Solar, which has its primary offices in Minnesota and Connecticut.
The bill credits that Walmart will receive are based on Minnesota’s Value of Solar methodology, which takes into consideration the value of the solar energy delivered to the utility by the community solar gardens, as well as other grid and environmental benefits.
Walmart operates more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries in addition to its e-commerce websites. With fiscal year 2019 revenue of $514.4 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.2 million associates worldwide.