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Sam’s Club said last week that it has become the first retailer in the U.S. to install a significant number of micro wind turbines, which it mounted on parking lot light poles to support the energy needs of its Palmdale, Calif., location.
“We’re the first to demonstrate micro wind turbines in a retail environment, and this project complements other wind and solar installations in California,” said Paul Stone, SVP, West Division at Sam’s Club, which is part of Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
The 17 units were fully operational as of last week. “This kind of project, in addition to being good for the environment, helps reduce energy costs, which can be passed on to the consumer in the form of lower prices,” said Palmdale mayor Jim Ledford. “This project is an outstanding example of the kind of sustainable practices the city of Palmdale is encouraging for the benefit of the environment and community as a whole.”
The Palmdale Sam’s Club was selected for the test project among all of the warehouse club’s locations in the United States because of the great wind resources in the area. The micro wind turbines at the Palmdale Sam’s Club are supplied by DeerPath Energy, a renewable energy company from 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. The completion of this project adds to the company’s other renewable energy projects in the state, including solar installations at 28 Walmart and Sam’s Club sites, and fuel cell installations at two Walmart stores.
“We are optimistic that this 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,” said Kim Saylors-Laster, VP, energy at Wal-Mart Stores. “With each new project, we learn more that can be applied to help us achieve our goal to be supplied by renewable energy.”