BP Solar has won a bid to develop 4.3 MW of solar energy systems for seven Wal-Mart Stores in California.
Under the agreement, BP Solar will sell all of the energy produced by the solar modules as well as operate and maintain the systems. No upfront capital investment will be needed by Wal-Mart, a benefit BP Solar offers to its commercial customers under its solar services agreement.
In addition, Wal-Mart will benefit from receiving all of the renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with the energy output of the systems.
Lee Edwards, BP Solar's CEO said that his company is building market share through capital investment, not only in manufacturing capacity, but in customer offers like this one.
BP Solar's share of the pilot project is part of a larger project to include 22 Wal-Mart locations in Hawaii and California.
As part of a pilot project to determine solar power viability for Wal-Mart, the total solar power production from the 22 sites is estimated to be as much as 20 million kWh (kilowatt-hours) per year. Each solar power generating system installed can provide up to 30 percent of the power for the store on which it is installed.
By Wal-Mart's estimates, installing the solar power systems will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6,500-10,000 metric tons per year.