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Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. yesterday made its first substantial purchase of wind energy in the U.S. that it expects will supply up to 15 percent of the energy load in approximately 360 Texas stores as well as other facilities.
The retailer said it will source the renewable power from a Duke Energy wind farm under construction in Notrees, Texas, which is expected to begin producing electricity by April of 2009.
"We're purchasing renewable power at traditional energy rates," said Kim Saylors-Laster, v.p. of energy for Wal-Mart. "The wind power purchase will result in a significant decrease of greenhouse gas emissions, and aligns perfectly with Wal-Mart's long-term goal of being supplied by 100 percent renewable energy."
The project will provide roughly 226 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable power each year, or the energy equivalent of washing 108 million loads of laundry -- enough for every household in Austin, Texas to do laundry for a year, according to Wal-Mart.
By purchasing this amount of clean, renewable energy, Wal-Mart said it will avoid producing more than 139,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year.
Wal-Mart said it will use the results of its wind power purchase to explore additional ways to achieve its goal of being supplied by 100 percent renewable energy.
In other news, the Bentonville, Ark-based retailer said it is stocking its stores with wild-caught, sustainable salmon from Bristol Bay, Alaska as part of a sustainable fishery initiative.
The wild sockeye salmon fillets are once-frozen and shipped from Bristol Bay in freezer containers to Seattle, where they are warehoused and packaged for freezer truck delivery to Wal-Mart distribution centers and stores nationwide.
The product line is a pilot project, and Wal-Mart said it will extend the program if sales are strong.