Kohl's to Add 30 New Solar Locations
June 21, 2012
Kohl’s Department Stores said it will expand its solar program by nearly 25 percent in 2012, installing solar panels at approximately 30 additional locations.
While some of the new solar sites will be in states such as California, Connecticut and Maryland where Kohl’s already has a solar presence, additional sites will be located in new solar states for Kohl’s, including Massachusetts, New York and Ohio.
On average, the solar panels will supply 20 to 50 percent of each store’s energy. Construction of the solar panel arrays on the first phase of stores began this spring. Once the installations are completed by the end of 2012, Kohl’s expects to have more than 150 solar locations across 13 states.
“After adding 20 solar locations in 2011, we’re pleased to continue growing our solar program in 2012,” said John Worthington, chief administrative officer. “Not only do our solar locations provide an immediate cost savings to Kohl’s, they serve as examples of our environmental commitment in action. As a national retailer with more than 1,100 stores, we consistently challenge ourselves to find new ways to reduce the operational footprint of our facilities, to be more energy efficient, use fewer resources and be a good neighbor in the communities where we do business.
“It’s exciting when we are able to add solar panels to a store, because it becomes part of a shopper’s Kohl’s experience,” he added. “Even if they can’t immediately see the solar panels on the roof – similar to how they might not see all of the characteristics that make a store Energy Star-labeled or LEED-certified, they know Kohl’s is working to be a good environmental steward and to make responsible choices about how we operate our stores.”
Kohl’s launched its solar program in 2007 with the installation of solar panels at its Laguna Niguel, Calif., store (pictured above). The company has expanded the program to additional locations over the last five years where it is feasible and provides a cost savings. Currently, Kohl’s is one of the largest single hosts of solar electricity in North America and has more than 120 solar locations, including its Milwaukee photo studio and San Bernardino distribution center – the company’s largest solar panel array.
With the completion of Kohl’s 30 new locations, the company’s portfolio of solar sites will produce more than 74.2 million kWh of energy annually, the company reported.
Through the on-site energy generation at Kohl’s solar locations, two wind locations and the purchase of renewable energy credits, Kohl’s offsets more than 100 percent of its conventional companywide energy use. The company continues to purchase renewable energy credits to offset the energy consumption of new stores and corporate locations, and made a 2012 renewable energy purchase of more than 1.5 billion kWh.
In recognition of these efforts, Kohl’s was named a Green Power Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2011, 2010 and 2009. The company also makes energy efficiency a priority and currently has more than 700 Energy Star-labeled locations -- more than half of the company’s stores -- with a goal of achieving 800 labeled locations by 2015.
GRD Views: Kudos to Kohl’s for not resting on their laurels and their continued advancement of green power. It will be interesting to see how their portfolio of green power sources shifts over time.-- John Failla for Green Retail Decisions
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