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SolarCity to install solar arrays on some Whole Foods stores

Whole Foods Markets has signed deals with SolarCity and NRG Energy to install rooftop solar systems at as many as 100 of its stores.

NRG said it will install up to 84 of the rooftop systems.

SolarCity declined to say how many systems it will install, but a spokeswoman said the stores included in the announcement Tuesday are the first phase of a plan to put solar arrays on Whole Foods stores across the country.

“Whole Foods has more than 400 stores, and they have expressed that they would ultimately like to put solar on as many stores as possible,” said spokeswoman Molly Canales. “They have targeted well over 100 stores in this phase of their solar plan.”

By installing rooftop solar systems on the stores, Whole Foods will be able to reduce the amount of utility-generated electricity its stores use, while reducing the cost of the power used at those markets. The installations are expected to begin in the spring. NRG said the installations would occur at stores and distributions centers across nine states. SolarCity said the locations would include sites in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.

Whole Foods plans to build its first store in the Buffalo Niagara region in the Northtowns Plaza in Amherst. Construction is expected to begin later this year, with the store opening in 2017.

SolarCity plans to open the biggest solar panel factory in the Western Hemisphere in South Buffalo next year.