KENT, Wash. — One of the largest cooperatives in the country announced a commitment to solar technology and put it on the fast track.

Recreational Equipment Inc. has debuted plans to retrofit more than 10% of its stores with solar electric technology this year.

REI said its environmental priorities were important to making one of the largest solar investments for a specialty retailer in the country. It selected 11 stores to be retrofitted with solar electric systems in 2008. Seven locations are in California and three are in Oregon. REI's green prototype stores in Round Rock, Texas, and Boulder, Colo. will test retail design and green building concepts that work efficiently. Those locations will serve as models for other solar installations, said REI.

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