Wind turbine to put electricity into Walmart DC
Walmart is erecting its first onsite large-scale wind turbine pilot project at its distribution center in Red Bluff, Calif.
The 20-story turbine is expected to be operational this fall and will provide roughly one megawatt of power, or 15 to 20 percent of the distribution center’s yearly electrical use.
Under a Power Purchase Agreement, Foundation Windpower will install, own, and operate the wind turbine, while Walmart will purchase the power produced under a long-term agreement.
“We are using every tool in the tool box as we work toward our goal to be supplied by 100 percent renewable energy, and wind energy is an attractive technology for Walmart,” said Greg Pool, senior manager of renewable energy and emissions at Walmart and project manager of the Red Bluff installation.
“We found the perfect environment for an installation with the Red Bluff project – good wind conditions and open land that we own,” Pool added. “As a result, we expect to reduce our energy costs from the day we flip the 'on' switch. Should the technology at Red Bluff prove successful, Walmart will evaluate the potential for large-scale turbine installations at other distribution center sites in the United States.”
The wind turbine in Red Bluff joins 180 renewable energy projects in operation by Walmart, including:
•A 90-megawatt wind farm in West Texas, providing 15 percent of power for over 300 Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs.
•348 stores in Mexico supplied by wind power, providing 17 percent of energy needs for Walmart de Mexico.
•14 stores in Northern Ireland supplied by wind power, providing 100 percent of the electricity needs for those stores.
•12 mini wind turbines in Massachussetts, power a Walmart store in Worchester, with 27 more stores to have solar panel installations by 2014.
•26 fuel cell sites in California supplying energy to local Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs.
(For more details about Walmart’s sustainability programs, see the April 2012 American Shipper article, “Reducing waste,” pages 42-43.) -- Chris Gillis
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