NewEnergyNews: WALMART WANTS WIND

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  • MONDAY’S STUDY AT NewEnergyNews, April 12:
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    Thursday, March 28, 2013

    WALMART WANTS WIND

    Welcome To Walmart: Wind Energy Is Key Part Of Retailer's Plans

    Mark Del Franco, March 21, 2013 (North American Windpower)

    “A GE 1.5 MW SLE wind turbine that rises above Walmart's Red Bluff, Calif., distribution center…represents the next step toward reaching the company's goal to eventually obtain 100% of its electricity from renewable sources, such as wind and solar…Walmart has 180 renewable energy projects in operation or under development, and is continuing to test solar, fuel cells, micro wind, off-site wind projects and, more recently, combining wind energy with battery storage…Walmart [also] operates more than 100 distribution centers across the U.S., and…is examining the suitability of other sites for wind power.

    “The GE wind turbine supplies 25% of the distribution center’s electricity load. Walmart is buying the electricity generated by the turbine under a 15-year power purchase agreement with Foundation Windpower, which installs, owns and operates the Red Bluff wind turbine…Future wind sites will be determined by the price of electricity, the wind resource at the location, and the available federal and state incentives…”

    “Walmart also feeds electricity back to Pacific Gas and Electric Co. through the utility's net-metering program. However, California caps generating capacity under the state’s net-metering program at 1 MW. Therefore, the GE turbine at the site was de-rated from 1.5 MW to 1 MW in order to qualify for the program…Walmart also participates in the California Self-Generation Incentive Program, which provides an incentive for the installation of distributed generation technologies, such as wind turbines, fuel cells and advanced energy-storage technologies. For wind energy, the incentive pays $1.19/W.

    “In addition to on-site generation, Walmart's wind energy initiatives include an off-take agreement to buy approximately 60% of the output from Duke Renewable Energy's 153 MW Notrees wind farm, located in Texas’ Ector and Winkler counties…[T]he Notrees project provides 15% of the power for more than 300 Walmart and Sam’s Club stores…Walmart has also expanded its wind energy initiatives to other countries. In Mexico, wind supplies17% of the energy needed to power 348 Walmart de Mexico stores and fulfills 100% of the electricity needs for 14 Northern Ireland stores.”

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