If solar panels were added to commercial rooftops, it could add power to millions of homes, and greatly reduce carbon emissions.
- If solar panels were added to the rooftops of chain stores across the U.S., it could help boost solar power and clean energy without harming the environment by cleaning out vast spaces for panels.
- There are around 4,720 Walmart stores across the U.S., and the average store has 180,000 square feet of rooftop. If solar panels were added to the top of a store that size, it would give enough energy to power nearly 200 homes, according to research from High Country News.
- Adding panels to rooftops could save hundreds of thousands of acres of public land across the U.S. and save many natural habits.
Why it’s news
There are millions of solar panels in use across the U.S. that convert sunlight into solar energy allowing for clean energy use.
The panels can be placed almost anywhere, but sometimes vast fields are cleared out to put an array of solar panels to make clean energy. In Arizona, 3,000 acres of the desert were stripped to make way for a singular field of panels, destroying natural habitats and displacing animals.
While the panels create clean, renewable energy to power thousands of homes, a natural habitat was destroyed to make room for the panels. High Country News did extensive research to find another way to create solar panel arrays without destroying natural habitats.
A large idea was created to save public lands—build solar panels on rooftops, specifically on big box stores.
Millions of stores across the country have thousands of square feet of rooftops each that would make the perfect layout for solar panels.
The research found that there are around 4,720 Walmart stores across the U.S., and the average store has 180,000 square feet of rooftop. If solar panels were added to the top of a store that size, it would give enough energy to power nearly 200 homes.
There are 21,363 big box stores in the western U.S. alone, if solar panels were put atop each store, it would create 31,035,098 megawatt hours annually. That amount of hours could power over 3 million homes, according to High Country News.
That number is just for the Western U.S., if panels were placed on top of buildings nationwide, it would power an extensive part of the country without destroying habitats.