Wal-Mart launches solar pilot program

Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores announced it has completed the first stage in its pilot program to use solar power in its retail stores.

The company has already converted the Chino, Calif., Sam’s Club, one of seven California stores the company will convert for the pilot program.

"Wal-Mart is moving forward with its commitment to conserve energy, reduce energy costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions, and this project is a step in the right direction," said Kim Saylors-Laster, vp-energy at Wal-Mart.

Once installed, Wal-Mart said it hopes solar power systems will provide approximately 30 percent of the power to its stores.

"Installing the solar power systems will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8,000 to 10,000 metric tonnes a year," said David Ozment, director of energy at Wal-Mart.

The company said 15 locations in Hawaii will also be included in the program.

Wal-Mart described the project as a major step toward its goal of using 100 percent renewable energy.