Reaching a milestone in its solar program, Kohl’s Department Stores has activated solar panels at its 100th solar location in Mays Landing, N.J. The retailer also announced plans to expand its solar program into Pennsylvania. The company currently has solar panels at select stores and distribution centers in California, Wisconsin, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Oregon and Colorado.
Solar is a part of the company’s energy management efforts to be carbon neutral by the end of 2010. Kohl’s estimates that energy management programs have helped prevent nearly $50 million in electricity costs, and over the past four years has improved the company’s energy efficiency by more than 20 percent primarily in stores.
Kohl’s began construction of its solar arrays on the rooftops of seven Pennsylvania stores in August, which is expected to be completed by March 2011. The eight locations combined are expected to generate more than 2.3 megawatts of power annually. On average, the 1,400 panels per location will supply nearly half of each store’s energy, preventing the emissions of more than 9 million pounds of carbon dioxide over 20 years.
Pennsylvania stores that are currently active or under construction include:
–Royersford, 989 Township Line Road, Royersford, Pa.
–Hanover, 360 Eisenhower Drive, Hanover, Pa.
–Mechanicsburg, 6444 Carlisle Pike, Mechanicsburg, Pa.
–Warminster, 918 West Street Road, Warminster, Pa.
–Granite Run, 1067 W Baltimore Pike, Media, Pa.
–Bensalem, 2325 Street Road, Bensalem, Pa.
–North Huntingdon, 88 Rocky Road, North Huntingdon, Pa.
In April, Kohl’s announced plans to convert 10 of its 23 Colorado stores to solar power by the end of this year. Each store will install more than 530 solar panels that generate 112 kW, supplying approximately 15 percent of each store’s energy.
The retailer has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with Green Power Leadership awards for the last three years, including 2009 Green Power Partner of the Year and 2010 Energy Partner of the Year. The company also ranks first in retail, second overall and second among Fortune 500 companies on EPA’s quarterly listings of top green power purchasers.