One such company, Walmart, is currently working towards 100 percent renewable and has plans set in place to bring energy projects into their business models in order to benefit customers, their overall business mission, and of course, the environment.  

One particular Walmart in Bentonville, Arkansas is on its way to receiving three separate solar wind farms thanks to a deal signed with EDP Renewables, a solar energy and wind utility provider. Vice President Mark Vanderhelm, who oversees Walmart’s energy projects, told Renewable Energy World this month that the partnership will help Walmart reach its goals for solar energy utility. EDP Renewables also expressed their enthusiasm for working with Walmart to help them reach 100 percent renewable utility through solar energy. 

The Need for Electric Transmission Planning 

While wind and solar energy have revolutionized the way many states and businesses have received and utilized their energy utility, the implementation of these assets for certain states and entities has proved to be more of a challenge. Because wind and solar energies rely on weather and climate to produce optimal energy output, researchers, organizations and solar energy advocates have had to work to solve the issue of bringing solar energy to locations that do not necessarily provide these perfect conditions. The solution and topic of discussion this month in the solar energy realm as to how to alleviate this issue revolves around transmission expansion and careful electric transmission planning. 

Electric transmission planning makes it possible for regions that lack the necessary climates for optimal solar and wind energy production, to incorporate solar energy despite being in areas away from the coasts or in isolated areas. Originally, this sort of transmission planning was utilized within established solar energy sectors that focused on growth within a specific region. Now, business have been able to use this same planning to receive solar energy for their businesses, as long as a transmission line is properly established.  

A New Trend for Corporations 

The Wind Solar Alliance (WSA) revealed in a recent report that corporate demand is ultimately increasing for solar energy utility, in part due to decreasing costs for wind and solar energies overall, but there are still issues for larger corporations. One of the producers of the report, David Gardiner and Associates (DGA), found that these issues primarily come about during the transmission planning processes. In the past for some of these larger corporations, the growth both in the short term and for the long term has not been taken into account. Finding solar energy solutions that allow for sustainability while a company grows and progresses is critical, should the solar energy utility be implemented at all in the first place. Co-author of the report and president of the DGA, David Gardiner, stated that transmission expansion for business solar utility is already “falling short.” However, there are plans set in place, dedicated to perfecting solar transmissions in order to push businesses past these initial growing pains and make solar implementation easier. 

The mission of solar utility companies like the DGA and the Wind Solar Alliance is to continue to help alleviate the challenges that businesses face when it comes to proper and sustainable implementation of solar power resources. Although some corporations may have yet to grasp the full scale of requirements for making one’s business “go green”, there is hope for the future that with continued research and up-to-date reporting, businesses can further develop techniques for efficient transmission of solar energy. Having a sustainable and reliable plan in place is important to businesses that are making the switch. 

Walmart is not the only corporation to aspire to 100 percent renewable utility energy for their business. GM, Microsoft, Johnson&Johnson, as well as P&G are all setting similar goals for how to utilize solar energy methods and resources. With declining costs for solar utility, along with innovative strategies like electric transmission planning, we will likely see businesses nationwide, regardless of climate or location, be able to provide high-quality solar energy services. 

Resources 

https://www.power-eng.com/articles/2018/10/renewable-hungry-companies-need-to-get-on-the-rto-asap.html 

https://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2018/10/walmart-procures-233-mw-wind-energy-ppa-from-edp-renewables.html 

 

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