Solar panels may be coming to a Home Depot near you soon – just not in the way you might be thinking.
While the home improvement giant does sell off-grid solar panels in some of its stores, its most recent announcement about solar energy is that they will be installing approximately 50,000 solar panels across 50 stores in five states. Combined, the installations will have a capacity of 34 MW. There will also be nearly 2 MWh of Tesla Powerpacks installed over six stores in New York and California.
The other states that will see installations include Maryland, Connecticut and New Jersey.
When the 50 installations are completed, it will reduce grid-produced electricity demand by 30% to 35% at each store – the equivalent of powering 2,300 average U.S. homes for a year.
“We have been hindered by the expected remaining life of existing roofs until now,” Corporate Communications Manager Aaron Bastian told pv magazine. “As more of our older stores reach the point where we’re replacing their roof, we now have more stores in markets where solar makes economic sense that have roofs that have an adequate expected life to support mini solar farms.”
Home Depot has set a goal of using 135 MW of alternative energy by 2020, of which solar is a part. Right now, the company has signed long-term power-purchase agreements (PPAs) in Delaware and Massachusetts, as well as wind farms and fuel cells. The projects with signed PPAs have a total annual output of 14.5 million kilowatt-hours.
Current, powered by GE, was chosen to build 30 of the on-site solar powerstations, “Home Depot is a great partner to demonstrate the value of onsite solar energy as a practical, affordable and important business strategy, and drive further market adoption,” said Erik Schiemann, general manager of solar at Current.
Construction on the selected stores will continue throughout 2017.