AUSTIN, TEXAS — Whole Foods Market has partnered with Princeton, N.J.-based NRG Energy, Inc. and San Mateo, Calif.-based SolarCity to install rooftop solar and solar power systems across nearly 200 Whole Foods stores.
As part of its partnership with NRG, Whole Foods said NRG will install rooftop solar at up to 84 Whole Foods stores and distribution centers across nine states. The initiative will allow Whole Foods to generate renewable energy onsite and when completed has the potential to generate up to 13.8 megawatts of solar power.
According to Whole Foods Market, the effort may become one of the largest commercial rooftop solar installations in the United States once it is finalized.
|Kathy Loftus, global leader in sustainability for Whole Foods Market|
“Installing solar at Whole Foods Market locations across the country will increase the percentage of renewable energy that is generated in communities where we work,” said Kathy Loftus, global leader in sustainability for Whole Foods Market. “We’re thrilled to work with NRG to bring about this multiple stakeholder view of our clean energy goals while simultaneously maximizing the utilization of resources.”
Rob Gaudette, senior vice-president of business solutions at NRG, called Whole Foods an “ideal match” for NRG.
|Rob Gaudette, senior v.p. of business solutions at NRG|
“Their vision and mission aligns with NRG’s approach to driving smarter, cleaner energy solutions while continuing to serve customers, neighbors and the community,” Mr. Gaudette said. “We’re committed to providing our customers, like Whole Foods Market, with energy solutions that support both sustainability and economic growth.”
NRG develops, finances, owns and operates energy projects, products and solutions. When executed, the Whole Foods Market project portfolio is expected to be funded in part through NRG’s ongoing partnership with NRG Yield.
Under the SolarCity agreement, Whole Foods said it plans to retrofit 100 of its 434 U.S. stores with rooftop solar systems. SolarCity will custom design each solar power system to maximize the amount of grid power offset and expects to begin installation this spring. Whole Foods said it also will save money with the new solar installations by purchasing power from SolarCity at a discount to current electricity costs, locking in low solar energy rates for years into the future.Once completed, these solar power systems are expected to place Whole Foods Market within the top 25 corporate solar users in the nation.