Infrastructure // PC & Servers
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8/12/2008
09:38 AM
Cora Nucci
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Retailers Opt To Roll Their Own Power

Cutting back on electricity use can trim a company's power bills only to a point. To really make a dent, businesses are beginning to generate their own juice to supplement what they buy off the grid.

Cutting back on electricity use can trim a company's power bills only to a point. To really make a dent, businesses are beginning to generate their own juice to supplement what they buy off the grid.Some big-box retailers are doing it by erecting solar panels on their rooftops. Wal-Mart, Kohl's, Macy's, and WholeFoods are hurrying to make a Dec. 31 deadline to qualify for tax incentives, reports The New York Times:

Analysts are not sure how much power the rooftop projects could ultimately produce, but they say it could be enough to help shave total electricity demand. In many communities, stores are among the biggest energy users. Depending on location and weather, the solar panels generate 10% to 40% of the power a store needs.

The advantage these retailers have, of course, is their expansive flat rooftops, which make solar an option. Other businesses also are looking at solar -- and wind and geothermal systems. As costs come down, more of them will get into the energy-making game.

Is anyone at your company seriously studying the options and analyzing the costs and benefits of self-generated power?

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