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Power Hardware

Walmart Goes Solar In California 292

Posted by samzenpus
from the price-drop-on-the-sun dept.
tekgoblin writes "Walmart today has announced that it plans to install solar panels on more than 75 percent of its stores in the state. From the article: 'When completed, Walmart’s solar commitment in California is expected to generate up to 70 million kilowatt hours of clean, renewable energy per year, which is equal to powering more than 5,400 homes. It will also avoid producing more than 21,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is equal to 4,100 cars off the road and provide 20 to 30 percent of each facility’s total electric needs.'"
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Walmart Goes Solar In California

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  • Re:Finally (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ShakaUVM (157947) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @08:08PM (#37474578) Homepage Journal

    Some news that will help get solar taken seriously. I understand its not the end-all of our energy problems (not even close), but its nice to see it get to a price point where the largest of corporations begin to utilize it. I'm not sure if the state granted any subsidies, but I'd have to say if they are going to subsidize something, at least this can't cause radiation evacuations, black lung, acid rain, and the like.

    I live in California, and installed solar on my house back in March.

    There's federal and state subsidies, but they're much lower now than they were in the past. I just filled out my state rebate form today - it amounts to about 5% of the cost of installation. I can't recall what the federal rate is off the top of my head, but it's certainly a lot lower than the 50% subsidy rate solar used to get.

    The reason for solar's success here in California is only minorly due to the subsidies (they are being phased out). The real reason is that California's power generation system is 40 years out of date, and electricity prices have skyrocketed, with top-tier power costing 55c per kilowatt-hour, the last time I checked. It's not too difficult to get into the top pricing tier, either. If you set your thermostat below 78 in the summer, you'll end up paying over a thousand dollars for power in a month. (YMMV, depending on the size of your house, the efficiency level of your AC, and the thermal properties of your walls and windows.)

    If you have solar, you apply your generation credits to your most expensive kilowatt-hours first, meaning you're generating at 55c/kWh. Small scale PV Solar systems have a 10-year levelized cost (after subsidies) of around 25c/kWh, which is why the optimal solution is to buy solar capacity up to a level that it will drop you into the cheap tiers of power. That's why I switched to solar (the environmental benefits are a nice bonus), and is certainly why Walmart is switching to solar in the state.

    In states that don't have such backwater environmental laws, power is often flat rate and around 5 to 10 cents per kilowatt-hour. Solar doesn't make sense in these states.

  • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:41PM (#37475262)

    Sure must suck having a job that:
    -pays above minimum wage
    -has benefits
    -helps keep the cost of goods from rising insanely
    -is damned efficient at what it does

    Mind you - I'm not going to disagree that there are some socio-economic issues with how walmart does business - but they aren't the only ones playing that game and they're not 100% evil. If you're a business owner - you're pretty much guaranteed to do very well if you can get in the same shopping center as a walmart as long as you're not in the business of selling the same goods walmart does for the same demographics. I've seen cities blossom around such shopping centers and a large portion of the stores nearby have been there for years as a result.

    I like that the benefits are based on qualifying for foodstamps and medicaid, but at least they're semi-provided by Walmart because they train employees to sign up for and use those services. See http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0473107/ [imdb.com]

  • by luther349 (645380) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @10:41PM (#37475626)
    that's walmart bs your spreading there. they pay minimum wage unless your 3rd shift and that's only due to 3rd shift laws. there so called benefits cost more then most people make,32 hrs a week is full time.for a walmart employee its also like that to prevent certen rights a real full-time employee would have like vacation time.walmart prices are higher then most other stores these days look for yourself. and there is nothing efficient bought walmart its ran by as i said under-payed unhappy people by overpaid managers who couldn't run a gas station. a managers day at walmart is what can i yell at you about today they care less how good or bad a job is done they just need to bitch i think that's part of there contract. trust me anyone that has ever worked there will tell you the same thing.
  • by ryanov (193048) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @02:24AM (#37476732)

    No, they are people who know a lot about Walmart and know that if you're poor, you can find ways to shop that don't shoot you directly in the foot (coupons, buying things on-sale, buying from farmer's markets, buying in bulk, buying cheaper raw foods, etc.)... you know, all the things that responsible people were doing long before there was a Walmart (which is now something that is apparently essential for survival somehow)... and back before everyone moved out of town to live in cheap shit housing developments and started clamoring for Walmarts because there's nowhere to shop.

    Walmart fucks EVERYONE, even people who don't shop there. Go watch any of the documentaries on Walmart -- you can look up what's in the movies if you don't take their word for it.

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