We're having trouble keeping up with these guys. Seems like just as we get finished writing about them, they roll out some new eco-endeavour. REI's most current initiative is to bung photovoltaic panels on 11 of their stores, in California, Oregon and Texas during 2008 (see store list after the fold).
REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc) figures that this is "one of the largest solar investments for a specialty retailer in the country." In some instances the solar panels will provide 35% of a stores energy. Collectively they'll generate 1.1 million kilowatt hours of electricity. This is said to be equal to power 117 homes all year or cutting
80, (whoops!), make that 880 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.The lucky store locations are California (Arcadia, Folsom, Sacramento, San Carlos, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Rosa), Oregon (Clackamas, Hillsboro and Tualatin) and Round Rock in Texas. The oudoor gear co-op will use these stores as test cases to determine how it approaches solar installations in the future.
REI selected the above stores on the advice of Blue Oak Energy, the same solar electric engineering firm, who worked on the photovoltaics for Google and Wholefoods. Installations in Calfornia will be by Offset Electric, and Christenson Electric in Oregon. REI, via tip from Thea H.