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PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Safeway Inc. plans to become one of the largest buyers of 100-percent renewable energy in the nation. Through a partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the grocer will buy wind-generated energy to power its 270 fuel stations nationwide, 15 stores in San Francisco, and its corporate campuses here and in Walnut Creek, Calif.
Safeway will become a Green Power Partner as part of a program EPA is running with private sector organizations that pledge to replace a portion of their electricity consumption with renewable energy.
"Protecting the environment and conserving our nation's valuable energy resources is something that Safeway and our customers care deeply about," said Safeway e.v.p. Larree Renda of the chain's participation in the program. "By powering our fuel stations, stores, and corporate offices with wind energy, we are taking a leadership role in using cleaner sources of electricity."
Safeway's planned purchase of 78 million kilowatt hours of wind energy would make it California's largest buyer of renewable energy, and will be the only retailer to purchase enough renewable energy to power 100 percent of its fuel stations.
EPA estimated that Safeway's green energy purchase amounts to the equivalent of avoiding more than 85 million pounds of carbon dioxide, which in turn is comparable to planting more than 10,500 acres of trees.
Renewable energy is electricity generated from sources that are more environmentally friendly than traditional fossil fuels. It benefits the environment by displacing non-renewable power sources like nuclear, coal, and other fossil fuels that emit carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas linked to global warming. The wind energy purchased by Safeway will come solely from newly constructed wind turbine generators, encouraging a cleaner, greener environment.