Red Bluff Pilot Project is Walmart’s First Onsite Industrial-Size Wind Turbine
Bentonville, Ark., – August 07, 2012 - Walmart today unveiled at its distribution center in Red Bluff, California, its first onsite large-scale wind turbine pilot project. The wind turbine, expected to be operational by this fall, will provide roughly one megawatt of power or 15 to 20 percent of the distribution center’s yearly electrical use.
The new wind turbine features a tower height (265 feet) and a blade diameter (250 feet) approximately equal to the height of a 20-story building. The GE SLE 1.0 Megawatt Wind Turbine is projected to produce approximately 2,200,000 kilowatt hours annually. Over the term of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) the project will contribute to energy expense savings as well as provide price certainty for the electricity produced. Under a PPA arrangement Foundation Windpower installs, owns, and operates the wind turbine and Walmart purchases the power produced under a long term agreement.
“We are using every tool in the tool box as we work toward our goal to be supplied by 100 percent renewable energy, and wind energy is an attractive technology for Walmart,” said Greg Pool, senior manager of renewable energy and emissions at Walmart and project manager of the Red Bluff installation. “We found the perfect environment for an installation with the Red Bluff project – good wind conditions and open land that we own. As a result, we expect to reduce our energy costs from the day we flip the on switch. Should the technology at Red Bluff prove successful, Walmart will evaluate the potential for large-scale turbine installations at other distribution center sites in the United States.”
The wind turbine in Red Bluff joins 180 renewable energy projects in operation, including:
- A 90-megawatt 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 17percent of energy needs for Walmart de Mexico
- Fourteen stores in Northern Ireland supplied by wind power providing 100 percent of the electricity needs for those stores
- In Massachusetts 12 mini wind turbines power a Walmart store in Worchester and 27 stores will have solar panel installations by 2014
- 26 fuel cell sites in California supplying energy to local Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs
- More than 140 solar installations across six states, including our 100th solar installation in California
“We are delighted to have completed this project with Walmart and Tehama County. Foundation Windpower developed, financed and constructed this project with Walmart whose leadership and strategic commitment to sustainable, energy efficient operations have improved this distribution facility’s economic competitiveness and environmental impact,” said Matt Wilson, CEO of Foundation Windpower. “Foundation Windpower looks forward to being Walmart’s partner in this project’s long term operation.
Learn more about Walmart’s commitment to sustainability at The Green Room and follow us on Twitter ( @WalmartGreen) to get updates about sustainability efforts and milestones. Additional information about our commitment to renewable energy is also available on our website.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at more than 10,130 retail units under 69 different banners in 27 countries. With fiscal year 2012 sales of approximately $444 billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://walmartstores.com, and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.
About Foundation Windpower
Foundation Windpower develops, finances, constructs, owns, and operates utility-scale distributed wind projects on-site at large energy consumers. Our projects, which total over 20 MW of production capacity, require no capital expense from customers. Foundation Windpower creates an immediate and sustained reduction in energy costs while delivering 100% renewable electricity through long term power purchase agreements. Customers include cement plants, mines, food processors, manufacturers, refrigerated warehouses, data centers, and water treatment plants where Foundation Windpower deploys utility-scale wind equipment in 1 MW to 5 MW configurations on-site. Foundation Windpower has offices in Menlo Park and San Francisco, California.