Safeway plans to power 23 California stores with solar energy. The company installed solar panels atop a newly renovated Safeway Lifestyle store in Dublin, California and plans to extend the program to nearly two dozen stores as part of a broader renewable energy initiative.The Dublin store’s solar unit is currently generating electricity to power the 55,000-square-foot retail facility.
Solar equipment at the Dublin Safeway store and other planned locations will produce approximately 7,500 megawatt hours of electricity per year, enough to provide 20 percent of the stores’ average power usage and up to 48 percent of power usage during the peak hours. The entire Dublin Safeway facility utilizes renewable energy. The store’s on-site retail fuel station already is powered by wind energy.
The entire 23-store solar program will remove 10.4 million pounds of carbon dioxide from the air, the equivalent of taking 1,000 cars off the road annually or planting 4,000 acres of pine trees.
Safeway is one of the EPA’s Top 25 Green Power Partners.
There have been many announcements recently concerning solar installations at retail companies:
- Macy’s is installing solar power systems in 26 stores.
- Wal-Mart is purchasing as much as 20 million kWh of solar power, from BP Solar, SunEdison LLC, and PowerLight, a subsidiary of SunPower Corporation, for 22 combined Wal-Mart stores, Sam’s Clubs and a distribution center in Hawaii and California.
- Kohl’s is converting more than 75 percent of its department stores in California to solar power beginning in May.
- Target has installed solar panels on the roofs of four of its California stores and plans to install similar systems at 14 more locations later this year.
- BJ’s Wholesale Club has installed solar power systems on the rooftops of two Connecticut BJ’s Wholesale Clubs.
- Costco has installed its second solar-powered energy system at its Lake Elsinore, California warehouse and has announced four more systems in Hawaii and California.
- Staples recently unveiled the largest solar power installation in New England at its 300,000-square-foot retail distribution center in Killingly, Connecticut.
- Tesco, the fourth-largest retail chain in the world, is installing a $13 million solar roof on its five-building, 820,400-square-foot distribution center under construction in Riverside, California.
- Wal-Mart is already using solar power in its experimental stores.