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Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT - Analyst Report) will install solar panels on 12 Walmart stores and Sam's Clubs throughout Ohio. The installation will be done in partnership with SolarCity, which installs, owns and maintains solar power systems for Walmart. Once the solar projects are completed, these 12 solar panels are expected to add nearly 6,000,000 kilowatt hours of renewable energy per year and avoid spreading more than 5,500 tons of carbon dioxide into the air. In addition, Walmart expects to generate enough energy from these solar plants to power more than 820 homes in OH.

Walmart also partnered with SolarCity in Sep 2011 to install solar power panels in more than 60 stores in California, creating solar power for 75% of its stores. Later in Apr 2012, Walmart in agreement with SolarCity, installed 6 solar projects in Colorado to generate nearly 3,000,000 kilowatt hours of renewable energy per year and avoid spreading more than 5 million pounds of carbon dioxide into the air.

Most recently, Walmart along with SunEdison, which is a leading global solar energy services provider, has completed solar power installations at three Wal-Mart stores in Hawaii. The three Walmart stores of Kahului, Kailua-Kona and Kapolei will generate more than 400,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of solar electricity in its first year of production and eliminate 320 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.

We believe that Walmart has got a good opportunity to expand and accelerate its solar power initiative program. Besides creating jobs and protecting the environment, these solar projects have also reduced costs for local businesses by lowering power bills.

Walmart is using new renewable technologies to achieve its goal of supplying 100% renewable energy. We thus remain confident that Walmart will continue to grow its solar energy program in the U.S. and around the world.

Walmart holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Retail and wholesale stocks that are presently doing favorable business include Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR - Analyst Report), Safeway Inc. (SWY - Analyst Report), and Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cotta (NGVC - Snapshot Report). Green Mountain holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Safeway and Natural Grocers carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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