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Sam’s Club store uses wind turbines for energy

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BENTONVILLE, Ark. — A Sam’s Club outlet in southern California is leveraging wind technology to help support the store’s energy needs.

A Sam’s Club outlet in southern California is leveraging wind technology to help support the store’s energy needs.

Parent company Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Thursday that the Sam’s Club warehouse club in Palmdale, Calif., which is in Los Angeles County, is the first U.S. retailer to install a significant number of micro wind turbines mounted on parking lot light poles to generate energy for the store. The 17 turbine units are now fully operational.

According to the company, the Palmdale Sam’s Club was selected for the test project because of the area’s wind resources. The store’s micro wind turbines were supplied by DeerPath Energy, a renewable energy company based in Marblehead, Mass., and are estimated to provide 76,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually — enough to power more than six average American homes for a year.

"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," Paul Stone, senior vice president of the West Division at Sam’s Club, said in a statement. "This project required a lot of collaboration, and we appreciate the city of Palmdale for their efforts throughout the process and construction."

Wal-Mart said the Palmdale project adds to its other renewable energy projects in California, 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," stated Kim Saylors-Laster, vice president of energy for 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, Wal-Mart will mark the completion of a similar micro wind turbine project at a new Walmart store in Worcester, Mass. And going forward, Wal-Mart — which has made a company commitment to be supplied 100% by renewable energy — said it plans to consider other locations for micro wind projects as well.


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