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Sam’s Club breaks new ground in wind power


Bentonville, Ark. Sam’s Club in Palmdale, Calif., is testing wind power, with 17 wind turbines mounted on lights in its parking lot. According to Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club is the first store in the nation to install a significant number of micro wind turbines to support its energy needs.

“We are thrilled to be the first to demonstrate micro wind turbines in a retail environment and pleased this project complements other wind and solar installations in California,” said Paul Stone, senior VP, West Division, Sam’s Club. “This project required a lot of collaboration and we appreciate the City of Palmdale for their efforts throughout the process and construction.”

The Palmdale location was selected for the test project among all of the Wal-Mart-owned properties in the nation because of the great wind resources in the area.  The micro wind turbines are supplied by DeerPath Energy, a renewable energy company from Marblehead, Mass., and are estimated to provide 76,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy annually -- enough to power more than six average American homes for a year.

The completion of this project, which became fully operational on Thursday, adds to Wal-Mart’s other renewable energy projects in the state, including solar installations at 28 Walmart and Sam’s Club sites and fuel cell installations at two Walmart stores in the state.

“We are optimistic that this exciting micro wind turbine project at the Palmdale Sam’s Club and another pilot location will be successful and that the micro turbines will be installed, operated and maintained while helping to lower our operating costs,” said Kim Saylors-Laster, VP energy at Walmart. “With each new project we learn more that can be applied to help us achieve our goal to be supplied by renewable energy.”

In early May, the retailer will complete a similar micro wind turbine project at a new Walmart store in Worcester, Mass. Moving forward, it plans to consider other locations for micro wind projects as well.

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