Walmart: Renewable Energy Efforts Expand into Wind Power
Just last week, Walmart switched on its 100th on-site solar installation, now the world’s biggest retailer is building a 1-megawatt wind turbine at a California distribution center.
The project was backed by Seminole Financial Services, which financed a $5.5 million construction loan by Foundation Windpower-Walmart to build and install the 1 megawatt (MW) installation in Red Bluff.
Foundation Windpower builds, maintains and operates wind projects under power purchase agreements. The one covering the Red Bluff installation is a 15-year arrangement.
Scheduled for mid-August completion, the 256-foot-high turbine will generate approximately 25 percent of the facility’s electricity needs.
Walmart, which ranked No. 1 on the EPA’s latest list of top US on-site clean energy generators released in early July, is hedging its best when it comes to meeting its goal of sourcing all of its energy from renewable sources.
Its solar projects have garnered the most attention, but the company also has plenty of wind investments.
In California and Massachusetts, for example, the retailer is using micro-turbines on top of light poles at stores in California and Massachusetts that generate between 2 to 3 kilowatts of electricity each. The Red Bluff installation, which uses GE technology, is its first big on-site wind turbine project.
According to its 2012 corporate sustainability report, Walmart has ?ve utility-scale on-site wind projects in operation or under development in Mexico, the US and the UK, totaling 470 million kilowatt hours (kWhs) of renewable power annually.
Those projects include:
- 348 stores in Mexico supplied by wind power through an agreement with Eléctrica del Valle de Mexico via its state-ofthe-art wind farm. This arrangemenet supplies 17% of the energy needs of Walmart Mexico and has reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by an estimated 137,240 tons annually.
- 350 stores in Texas receive up to 15 percent of their electricity needs through a four-year agreement to purchase clean energy from Duke Energy’s wind farm in Notrees, Texas.
- 14 stores in Northern Ireland are 100% supplied by wind power.
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