Whole Foods to get rooftop solar; deals with SolarCity, NRG

Supermarket chain Whole Foods Market Inc will add solar panels to over 100 stores soon. As part of this, the supermarket major will make agreements separately with SolarCity Corp and NRG Energy Inc. The installation of solar panels on retail outlets may begin in spring.

Whole Foods Markets will become one of the largest commercial rooftop solar installations in the country. After the installation, Whole Foods Market's rooftop solar panels may have potential to generate up to 13.8 MW of solar power. 

Whole Foods Market has already got installed rooftop solar systems on 25 of its 434 stores in the US. SolarCity Corp and NRG Energy Inc will install rooftop solar power system on some of stores, which are mostly organic and natural food supermarkets. Once the agreements are completed, 100 more retail outlets will get rooftop solar panels. 

Market Watch reports that though Whole Foods Markets has finalized SolarCity and NRG for installation of rooftop solar panels, it's not yet decided on how many of outlets each company will do. The installation of solar panels is expected to start in spring.

SolarCity is offering a discount on solar power purchased from it. Both of them have reportedly agreed on rate of solar power for an undisclosed number of years. However, both the companies have not announced any financial details pertaining to this.  

After the completion of solar panel installation, it'll have potential to generate up to 13.8 megawatts (MW) of solar power. With this, Whole Foods Market Inc will become a major commercial rooftop solar installation. The agreement between NRG Energy and Whole Foods Inc will envisage contracted solar power generation and financing options as well, as reported by Street Insider.

NRG Energy is planning to install rooftop solar systems at about 84 Whole Foods stores and distribution centers in nine states. Financial terms to this effect are also not revealed by both the companies. 

CNBC further adds that SolarCity is aiming to enhance solar power generation to offset the need of traditional grid power. The agreement with SolarCity will help Whole Foods Markets Inc save money on energy. Solarcity will custom design solar power system for Whole Foods Inc. By purchasing power from SolarCity, Whole Foods Markets Inc will also save more on new solar installations.

Kathy Loftus, Global Leader in Sustainability for Whole Foods Market, said: "Installing solar at Whole Foods Market locations across the country will increase the percentage of renewable energy that is generated in communities where we work. We're thrilled to work with NRG to bring about this multiple stakeholder view of our clean energy goals while simultaneously maximizing the utilization of resources."

After the news about agreements on installation of solar panels, Whole Food Market Inc's stock eased 0.12 percent to $33.57 a share on NASDAQ. SolarCity Corp shares gained 3.68 percent to $25.08 on NASDAQ, while NRG Energy Inc's stock declined 8.28 percent to $12.51 on New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

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