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Environmental group challenges stores like Target to add solar panels

FILE -- In this Dec. 19, 2013 file photo, shoppers arrive at a Target store in Los Angeles on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

The group Environment Arizona said that Arizona’s solar energy capacity has grown more than 84 percent since 2012.

Now, the group is saying that if “Big Box” stores placed solar panels on their rooftops, it could produce a lot of power.

“There is 4 billion square feet of roof space that could be put to good use generating clean energy around the country,” said Jenifer Wong, a campaign organizer for Environment Arizona.

In fact, Wong said that harnessing that energy could save businesses $8.2 billion a year on their electric bills.

Environment Arizona is trying to get businesses to put the panels on their roofs. Wong said that a few are already doing it.

“Wal-Mart currently leads with having the most solar panels installed on their rooftops,” said Wong.

Target is also doing it, but Environment Arizona is challenging that company to do more.

“Last year, Target pledged to put solar on 500 of its near 2,000 stores by 2020, and today we’re calling on them to commit to going all of the way,” Wong said.

The group made the request on Tuesday outside of the Target store at 44th Street and Thomas Road in Phoenix. Wong said that so far, Target has not responded to the request.

KTAR’s Lauren Grifo contributed to this report.

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