Walmart in deal for one of nation’s largest community solar projects to date

Marianne Wilson
Marianne Wilson profile picture

Walmart is supporting the growth of clean energy in New York. 

In one of the biggest deals of its kind, the retail giant has contracted with Nexamp as an anchor tenant to support 129 megawatts of community solar projects. Walmart is subscribing to a share of each of 23 Nexamp solar farms across the state of New York, and will receive energy credits, equivalent to approximately 50 megawatts of the entire portfolio. Thirty-two Walmart stores, four Sam's Clubs, and one distribution center participating in the program. 

The balance of the energy produced by the projects provides economic and environmental benefits to local area residents. As community solar grows in scale and popularity, it has become a viable option for large companies looking to help spur the development of localized renewable energy, while also making progress toward their own climate goals.

"Community solar at this scale allows Walmart to play a direct role in spurring economic development in the communities we serve and reinforces our goal to spark collective climate action," said Mark Vanderhelm, VP, energy and facilities management at Walmart.

Walmart set a goal last year to be a regenerative company — one that works to restore, renew and replenish, in addition to preserving, our planet. As part of that goal, the chain is targeting zero emissions by 2040 across its global operations and aims to harvest enough wind, solar and other renewable energy sources to reach its goal of powering 100% of its facilities with renewables by 2035. 

Currently, 36% of Walmart's operations worldwide are powered with renewable energy. As of the end of 2020, Walmart had more than 550 onsite and offsite projects in operation or under development in eight countries, 30 U.S. states and Puerto Rico.

"Walmart continues to lead by example through its bold commitments in support of a cleaner energy future," said Nexamp CEO Zaid Ashai. "By enrolling in our community solar program, Walmart demonstrates its understanding of the urgency of climate change issues, and that these issues can be addressed in ways that also provide significant economic value."