Home Depot has announced that store rooftops at 50 of its locations will be turned into solar farms. The Atlanta, Georgia-based retailer will do this in partnership with Tesla and Current, a General Electric subsidiary. These store locations are in five states – New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Connecticut and California plus the District of Columbia.
The area of an average Home Depot store is about 104,000 square feet which means that approximately 50,000 solar panels can be installed on the roof. The home improvement retailer will make use of power purchase agreements in leasing roof space and generating solar energy. To store the solar energy for use when there is no sun, Home Depot will use Tesla’s Powerpack batteries.
Reduce power grid demand
It is expected that electricity grid demand at every Home Depot store will be reduced by the solar farms at a level that is estimated to be between 30% and 35% every year. This is enough electricity to power about 2,300 households in the United States for a year. The rooftop solar farm initiative is part of Home Depot’s plans to increase renewable and alternative consumption to 135 megawatts by 2020.
“Our alternative energy projects are important elements of our sustainability and operations efforts as they reduce carbon emissions while also lowering our energy costs,” David Hawkins, a labor and operations vice president at Home Depot, said.
Earlier in the year Home Depot made a move towards wind energy when the retailer made a major investment in a renewable energy farm located in Northeast Texas focused on generating energy from wind sources. Consequently Home Depot committed to purchasing approximately 50 megawatts every year from the wind energy farm.
The sustainability efforts being undertaken by Home Depot are similar to those of its native Atlanta city. Atlanta has emerged as one of the cities which is committed to using renewable energy exclusively in a couple of decades. Earlier in the year the city council of Atlanta resolved that all operations of the city government must use renewable energy exclusively by the year 2025. The rest of the city, which includes households and the private sector, must turn to renewable energy by the year 2035.
Besides Home Depot, other retailers that are increasingly turning to renewable sources of energy include Amazon which began a solar power initiative earlier in the year. Before the year ends the Seattle, Washington-based online retail giant plans install solar panels on 15 of its fulfilment centers. And by 2020 Amazon intends to use solar power exclusively at 50 of its warehouses.