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H-E-B celebrates installation of Weslaco wind turbine


WESLACO, Texas H-E-B and Wind Energy Corp. announced the successful installation of a state-of-the-art vertical axis wind turbine at the H-E-B retail support center in Weslaco, Texas. The turbine, which is installed adjacent to the facility, is now functional, generating electricity and operating at speeds as low as four miles per hour.

"H-E-B is thrilled to be a part of this landmark achievement in the development of energy solutions," said Shelley Parks, director of South Texas public affairs for H-E-B. "At the outset, we have looked at this research and development partnership as a unique opportunity for us to conduct our business in a responsible and sustainable way while contributing to the development of a revolutionary energy solution. Today validates our initial investment and we look forward to continuing to work with Wind Energy to understand viable alternative energy solutions."

The partnership was announced in February 2008 and consists of an 18-to-24-month wind resource research project at the Weslaco site. The turbine is located atop a 100-foot tower and is flanked by two 195-foot tall meteorological towers, which were installed in March 2008 and have been collecting high-resolution wind data for the past six months.

"This successful installation and the generation of electricity at low wind speeds will revolutionize the renewable energy marketplace," said James Fugitte, chairman and ceo of Wind Energy. "The monitoring towers are providing valuable information about the characteristics of the wind that is spinning the turbine. Due to extensive laboratory research, we knew that our vision of cost-effective, distributive energy was attainable and thanks to the foresight and leadership of H-E-B, we now have the opportunity to commercially prove it."

H­E-B's Weslaco site was chosen over 18 other potential H-E-B pilot sites in Texas because of its wind conditions and opportunity for a secure location in which to conduct the necessary research. This research and development project will allow Wind Energy and H­E-B, to ascertain how much electricity the system can provide to the facility and what opportunities will emerge for future power distribution. Both companies continue to work closely with the City of Weslaco regarding the positive community impact of the project.

"This is an exciting advancement for the City of Weslaco and we are thrilled to be working with H-E-B and Wind Energy in paving the path toward reducing traditional energy consumption and improving our planet," said Mayor Buddy de la Rosa. "This partnership is a strong example of how we are making an impact in reducing our carbon footprint and we look forward to continuing our relationship with these organizations in the future."

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