It's official Wal-Mart will install solar panel systems on 22 sites in California and Hawaii. The solar panels will be provided by BP Solar, SunEdison LLC, and PowerLight, a subsidiary of SunPower Corporation. Here are some highlights from the press release:
The solar power pilot project is a major step toward Wal-Mart’s goal of being supplied by 100 percent renewable energy. Each solar power generating system installed can provide up to 30 percent of the power for the store on which it is installed. By Wal-Mart’s estimates, installing the solar power systems will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6,500-10,000 metric tons per year.
Also, as the recent CNET article points out:
Because of Wal-Mart's size, its investments in solar power could have a significant financial impact for solar providers.
So if Wal-Mart eventually goes all out with solar installations across all their stores, they could drive the price of solar panels way down. Gotta love those economies of scale...