March 16, 2016
It was just a week ago that the Internet exploded with confused-anger after a photograph of peeled oranges packaged in plastic on the shelves of a Whole Foods store was posted on Twitter. Whole Foods, which fancies itself a sustainable and environmentally friendly company, quickly pulled the fruit from its shelves after enduring thousands of complaints about the oranges’ “wasteful” packaging.
But the company’s foray into solar power may help redeem its reputation among those who were incensed by the orange fiasco.
Whole Foods announced last week that it had signed agreements with SolarCity (chaired by Elon Musk) and NRG Energy to install rooftop solar panels atop as many as 100 of its stores and distribution centers.
The units will be installed by New Jersey-based NRG Energy at 84 locations in 9 states, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Texas. SolarCity, of California, will install the rest of the units.
SolarCity will also provide systems for the grocery chain, which could potentially expand the rooftop solar program as the installations are rolled out.
Whole Foods’ ultimate goal is to install solar at some 200 locations. A rooftop solar unit generates an estimated 5% to 20% of the annual electricity a store needs.