Kroger, the largest U.S. traditional grocer, is exploring solar energy and the first of its projects have been completed. Smith’s Food & Drug Stores, a division of Kroger, has completed the installation of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on two of its locations in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Total combined output is estimated at 320,000 kWh. Each solar system is comprised of 442 panels.

“We have done a lot of work over the last several years to integrate sustainable practices into our everyday business operations,” said Rodney McMullen, president and chief operating officer of Kroger. “Today, we are proud to unveil Kroger’s first operational solar energy project. Smith’s has done a tremendous job bringing this to realization. Kroger will continue reducing energy consumption and testing technologies that support future use of alternative energy sources.”

The Smith’s stores were selected due to the sunny climate and economic incentives offered by energy provider PNM. Affordable Solar, based in Albuquerque, designed and installed the panels. Kroger is also developing photovoltaic systems in stores located in Wilsonville, Oregon (Fred Meyer) and Cincinnati, Ohio (Kroger).