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Power Hardware

Walmart Goes Solar In California 292

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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  • by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @08:09PM (#37474584) Journal
    They could buy from a US solar manufacturer that only exists to collect government loan money, siphon it off to well-connected investors/political contributors, and then go bankrupt.
  • Re:Costs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by currently_awake ( 1248758 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @08:41PM (#37474826)
    The reason California has the highest electricity costs in the western world is because they privatized the whole system but without any protection to protect the consumer from price fixing or profit maximization. Corporations like to gouge you, it's what they were designed for- to maximize profit. If the electric company anticipates demand and maintains the infrastructure you get safe reliable cheap power. If they don't you get costly unreliable dangerous power. The first costs more and brings in less (low profit), the second costs less and brings in more(high profit)- clearly the intelligent CEO will opt for the second plan.
  • Windows, duh! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by transami ( 202700 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @08:50PM (#37474900) Homepage

    You know, if they just put in some windows (hey light tubes too!), they could save a whole lot more money on lighting too.

    It always amazes me walking into these huge stores in the middle of the day, and they have hundreds of lights on to make it as bright inside as it already is outside. How hard is this to figure out?

  • by Xacid ( 560407 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:11PM (#37475028) Journal

    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.

  • by m.dillon ( 147925 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @10:07PM (#37475462) Homepage

    Well, more realistically, what is happening is that China is producing solar panels well in excess of demand (and doing a number on their environment in the process, but that's another story), and it's forced prices for panels down so much that all the other panel producers are dropping like flies. Has nothing whatsoever to do with U.S. regulations (unless you want U.S. creeks to run black with industrial chemicals too), or conspiracy theories about siphoning government money or anything like that.

    Even worse, panel prices are now low enough to compete against large industrial-scale mirror/tower systems. So THOSE companies are also getting crushed as contracts get canceled and buyers go with panels. Think about that for a moment. It isn't that panels are less expensive than mirrors, it's that panels are now less expensive than mirrors + tower system + workforce required to keep it maintained.


  • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jroysdon ( 201893 ) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @12:57AM (#37476444) Homepage

    One of the problems I see is that Walmart purposely keeps most of their employees at 40 hours/week so they can't get benefits. Further, they promote all of those employees getting on all the government assistance they can. Yeah, nice favor, but how about sharing your load and letting those who want to work 40 hours work that and obtain the benefits they should be provided and off of government assistance. Walmart's low prices are the result of than government-funding which we cannot afford, which not only drains the taxes coming, but increases the national debt and causes inflation to rise.

    We all pay for Walmart. The problem is that people won't say no. Not the lawmakers and not the masses who shop there.

  • by ryanov ( 193048 ) on Thursday September 22, 2011 @02:26AM (#37476736)

    This is not intended to be a slam at GP, but really, who better to evaluate Walmart than someone who used to work there... and how good is the English of a person likely to be if they can't find a better job than that?

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