Popular grocery chain Whole Foods announced Tuesday it plans to install rooftop solar energy systems at almost 200 of its stores, Food and Business News reported. In separate partnerships with NRG Energy Inc. and SolarCity, the solar systems installed in Whole Foods Market locations are expected to place the chain within the top 25 corporate solar users in the nation.
As part of its deal with New Jersey-based NRG, Whole Foods said it will install rooftop solar at 84 stores and distribution centers across nine states. Under the initiative, Whole Foods will be able to generate renewable energy onsite and once finished, will have the potential to generate up to 13.8 megawatts of solar power.
“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, Food and Business News reported. “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.”
In its partnership with California-based SolarCity, Whole Foods plans to retrofit up to 100 stores with rooftop panels. The plan aims to increase the production of solar power and offset the need for traditional grid power while helping Whole Foods save money, according to a press release.
“SolarCity will custom design each solar power system to maximize the amount of grid power offset and expects to begin installation this spring,” the statement said. “Whole Foods Market 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.”
Following Tuesday’s announcement, SolarCity shares popped and Whole Foods shares were trading higher, according to CNBC.