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Article posted on 09/21/10
Author: Yvonne Kaestner

Wal-Mart Plans to Expand Their Use of
Thin-film Solar Technology for 30 Stores

Day Trending today is a story covered by CNBC about Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and their expansion of their current solar panel initiative.

The retail giant plans to expand its efforts in the use of renewable energy for up to thirty store locations by installing a newer thin-film solar technology to generate electricity. Wal-Mart currently has solar installations in over thirty locations of the traditional crystalline solar panels, a spokesperson revealed.

The new systems will be located in California and Arizona, supplying up to thirty percent of the required electrical needs for each store location. The entire project will be designed, installed, owned and maintained by a private California company SolarCity. The thin-film technology, although less efficient than its older bulkier counterpart, actually requires less semiconductor material and is cheaper to produce. Wal-Mart and SolarCity will use both copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) system as well as cadmium telluride thin-film technologies.

Currently, First Solar is one of the largest module manufacturers in the world, and a leader in the thin-film panels which only comprise about twenty percent of the overall solar market. The predominant polysilicon based panels are made by industry leaders such as Suntech Power Holdings and SunPower Corporation.

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