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Harnessing the power of the sun


Walmart announced that it will add solar-generating systems to another 20 to 30 sites in California and Arizona, and the majority of these locations will feature new lighter, lower-cost thin film solar technology. The new solar power systems will be designed, installed, owned and maintained by SolarCity, Foster City, Calif.

"Developing and incorporating new renewable energy sources, like thin film, reduces energy price risk and aligns very well with our commitment to solving business challenges through technology," said Kim Saylors Laster, Walmart VP energy.

When complete, this project is expected to supply up to 20% to 30% of the total energy needs for each location; produce up to 22.5 million kilowatt hours of clean energy per year; avoid producing more than 11,650 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually; and add to the 31 current solar installations Walmart has in California and Hawaii.

Thin film solar panels look similar to the traditional crystalline panels, but require fewer raw materials to manufacture, resulting in a smaller environmental impact over its life cycle, according to Walmart.

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