Advertisement
04/29/2021

Walmart goes full sail with three new wind projects

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Dan Berthiaume profile picture

Walmart is now generating more than 500 megawatts (MW) of wind energy in three states.

The discount giant, which has committed to powering 50% of its operations with renewable energy by 2025 and 100% by 2035, is collaborating with renewable energy services company Engie North America to supply wind-based energy annually to hundreds of stores, warehouse clubs, and distribution centers across three U.S. states: Texas, South Dakota and Oklahoma. 

The Engie North America partnership allows Walmart to purchase offsite power from three separate windfarms in Texas, Oklahoma and South Dakota. Together, these facilities are expected to help avoid as much as 1.3 million metric tons CO2e of greenhouse gas emissions per year.  

Walmart says this is enough renewable electricity to power more than 240,000 average American homes for an entire year. According to the American Clean Power Association, as a result of these transactions, Walmart procured the most wind energy of any company in the U.S. in 2019. 

In addition, according to Engie North America, the three projects supplied 1,000 construction jobs at their peak and are expected to deliver more than $400 million in landowner lease payments, taxes, wages and commitments over the life of the project.  

In 2020, renewable sources supplied an estimated 36% of Walmart’s electricity needs globally. To date, the retailer’s actions have helped to bring more than three gigawatts of new renewable energy capacity to power grids since 2008. 

As of the end of 2020, Walmart had more than 550 onsite and offsite projects in operation or under development in eight countries, 30 U.S. states and Puerto Rico, producing over 4 billion kWh of renewable energy.
 
“Securing innovative, scaled energy transactions is another solid step toward our goal of being powered by 100% renewable energy by 2035 and achieving zero emissions across our operations by 2040,” said Mark Vanderhelm, VP of energy and facilities management, Walmart, in a corporate blog post. “With a mixture of infrastructure and innovation, we can set an example for what one company can do to move toward a cleaner future.”