A large-scale wind turbine at its distribution center in Red Bluff, Calif., is Walmart’s first onsite industrial-sized wind turbine and will generate approximately 2.2 million KWh, providing up to 20 percent of the distribution center’s annual electricity use. The GE SLE 1 MW wind turbine is comparable in height to a typical 20-story building, with a tower measuring 265 feet tall and a blade spanning 250 feet in diameter.
Under the terms of a power purchase agreement with Foundation Windpower, the project will contribute to energy expense savings as well as provide price certainty for the electricity produced. Foundation Windpower installed, owns, and operates the wind turbine while Walmart purchases the power produced at a fixed rate.
Red Bluff was selected for the installation because it provides an environment with good wind conditions and available land already owned by Walmart.
The wind turbine in Red Bluff is one of more than 180 renewable energy efforts underway worldwide as Walmart works towards its goal of being supplied by 100 percent renewable energy. Walmart’s current wind energy projects include:
- A 90-MW 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 México
- Wind power provides 100 percent of the electricity needs in fourteen stores in Northern Ireland
Additional wind energy projects include 12 mini wind turbines that power a Walmart store in Worchester, Mass., wind turbine installations at Walmart’s food distribution center in Balzac, Alberta Canada and micro wind installations at the Sam’s Club in Palmdale, Calif.
In addition, Walmart has set a goal to bring solar energy to more than 75 percent of Walmart and Sam’s Club stores in California – approximately 130 stores – by the end of 2013