Quantcast

Whole Foods Teams Up With SolarCity, NRG to Install Solar on 100 Stores

Business

Whole Foods is teaming up with NRG Energy and SolarCity to install rooftop solar on 100 of its stores and distribution centers across the country.

Whole Foods is going even greener after striking a deal with SolarCity and NRG Energy to install solar panels across 100 stores.

Fortune reported that SolarCity, co-founded by Elon Musk, will install roughly a fourth of the supermarket chain’s 431 locations with solar panels. NRG Energy will provide panels in up to 84 of those 100 locations. News of the partnership has even bumped SolarCity's shares up 3.68 percent, the publication reported. 

The upscale grocer has taken several impressive green initiatives in recent years, including green building certifications, sustainable seafood, banning plastic bags, and transitioning to compostable cutlery and food packaging. As for their renewable energy portfolio, Whole Foods was the first major retailer to offset 100 percent of their energy use with wind energy credits.

A number of stores already have solar- or wind-power installations, such as their Berkeley, California, which has the distinction of being the first major food retailer in the nation to introduce solar energy as its primary lighting power source way back in 2002. The Whole Foods in Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal has solar, wind turbines, electric vehicle charging stations, LED streetlights and a greenhouse.

"We feel that increasing support for renewable energy is a good thing for our company overall and hedging against potential rising energy costs going forward is also important," Kathy Loftus, global leader in sustainability for Whole Foods Market, told CNBC.

The new panels NRG Energy is installing onto Whole Foods rooftops' will be up to 200 times the size of NRG's typical residential arrays.

With their latest renewable energy contract, the grocery chain's solar capacity has increased fourfold, GreenBiz observed.

Whole Foods—known for its organic fare and, yes, high prices—has faced pressure to reduce costs due to increasing competition from other chains offering specialty and organic foods at lower prices, the New York Times reported. Going solar will also save the company money "because the solar providers can offer electricity at prices below what the stores and centers would normally pay utilities," the newspaper observed.

"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] will also 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," the solar providers said in a joint press release.

The press release noted that once completed, these solar power systems are expected to place Whole Foods Market within the top 25 corporate solar users in the nation, citing data from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

"While solar has long been viewed as an environmentally responsible energy choice, businesses now deploy solar because it is a smart fiscal choice as well," the SEIA said in its annual Solar Means Business report.

Many major American businesses have found that investing in clean, renewable energy can be good for business. According to the Rocky Mountain Institute, nearly two-thirds of Fortune 100 and nearly half of Fortune 500 companies have commitments to shift to renewables, and have purchased more than 1 GW of renewable power in the past year

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Dear President Obama, The Clean Energy Revolution Is Now

Renewable Energy Revolution Rocks On: All New Generating Capacity in January From Wind and Solar

First-of-it-Kind Supermarket Sells Expired Food, And It’s a Hit

IKEA Plans to Ditch Toxic Polystyrene for Biodegradable Mushroom Packaging

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A tropical storm above Bangkok on Aug. 04, 2016. Hristo Rusev/ NurPhoto / Getty Images

By Jeff Turrentine

First off: Bangkok Wakes to Rain, the intricately wrought, elegantly crafted debut novel by the Thai-American author Pitchaya Sudbanthad, isn't really about climate change. This tale set in the sprawling subtropical Thai capital is ultimately a kind of family saga — although its interconnected characters aren't necessarily linked by a bloodline. What binds them is their relationship to a small parcel of urban land on which has variously stood a Christian mission, an upper-class family house, and a towering condominium. All of the characters have either called this place home or had some other significant connection to it.

Read More Show Less
orn_france / iStock / Getty Images

By Susan McCabe, BSc, RD

Dioscorea alata is a species of yam commonly referred to as purple yam, ube, violet yam, or water yam.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Left: MirageC / Moment / Getty Images Right: Pongsak Tawansaeng / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN, LD

Sole water is water saturated with pink Himalayan salt.

Read More Show Less
People march to TCF Bank Stadium to protest against the mascot for the Washington Redskins before the game against the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 2, 2014 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Hannah Foslien / Getty Images

Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill into law Thursday banning public schools or universities in the state from using Native American mascots, names or imagery. Mills' action will make Maine the first state in the nation with such a ban once it goes into effect later this year, The Bangor Daily News reported.

Read More Show Less
A man protests against the use of disposable plastics outside the Houses of Parliament on March 28 in London. John Keeble / Getty Images

Plastic pollution across the globe is suffocating our planet and driving Earth toward catastrophic climatic conditions if not curbed significantly and immediately, according to a new report by the Center for International Environmental Law (CEIL).

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) testifies during a House Energy and Commerce Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill on April 2 in Washington, DC. Zach Gibson / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

A new climate action plan put forth by Democratic presidential candidate Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday is being praised for highlighting the enormous benefits that would result from a rapid shift in the U.S. to a renewable energy economy that centers on the needs of workers and vulnerable communities.

Read More Show Less

Mitshu / E+ / Getty Images

By Alina Petre, MS, RD (CA)

Veganism is a way of living that tries to minimize animal exploitation and cruelty.

Read More Show Less

6okean / iStock / Getty Images Plus

A federal judge ruled this week that the Food and Drug Administration must begin implementing regulations for the many types of e-cigarettes now on the market in the U.S.

Read More Show Less