Wal-Mart’s solar secret

Sam Eaton Jan 5, 2007
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Wal-Mart’s solar secret

Sam Eaton Jan 5, 2007
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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Today bids are due for what could become the largest solar energy project ever, but the company behind the effort is keeping mum about its plans. From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk Sam Eaton explains.


SAM EATON: Wal-Mart is asking for proposals to install solar panels on stores in five states.

If realized, the plan would be 60 times the size of the next largest solar project, Google’s California headquarters.

But Wal-Mart is not fully committed to the proposal, so clean energy analyst Joel Makower says unlike Google, the world’s largest retailer is keeping a low profile.

JOEL MAKOWER: It cuts both ways for them. They have the potential to really be a hero here but if they decide to not go solar, that’s when they could come under some more criticism.

Makower says the moment of truth will come at the end of February when Wal-Mart plans to announce the winning bid.

Wal-Mart’s push for solar stems from the company’s pledge to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent over the next eight years.

In Los Angeles, I’m Sam Eaton for Marketplace.

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