Walmart Scales Solar Installations with MiaSole Thin-Film Solar Panels
Retail Giant adds Thin-Film solar installations to 20 - 30 Walmart stores
As part of the ongoing Walmart solar program, the retail giant is contracting with SolarCity to have thin-film solar installations incorporated into 20 to 30 existing Walmart stores in sunny locations like Hawaii, California and Arizona. The thin-film solar panels are much more cost effective than traditional silicon cells, and Walmart is anticipating that these solar installations will reduce the stores' dependency on municipal power by 20 to 30%. The contract actually calls for Walmart to simply buy the power created by the thin-film solar installations rather than actually purchasing the panels out-right.
Walmart has already installed traditional on-site solar equipment in 31 stores in Hawaii and California , but for these projects they are principally using the thin-film solar arrays. Solar installations are much quicker and easier with thin-film solar panels, and the competition for retail contracts has kept the market competitive. Walmart has chosen startup supplier MiaSole to launch what is rumored to be one of the largest business solar installations of the promising thin-film solar technology to date. Using a combination of gallium, copper, indium and selenide (CIGS), these thin-film solar panels will make it possible for Walmart to more quickly scale up their solar installations program and provide renewable energy sources for more of their retail stores.