Cape Cod isn’t the only place making wind energy news this week.
Yesterday, the parking lot of the Sam’s Club in Palmdale, California, made it into the headlines, too.
As part of the company’s commitment to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy, Sam’s Club installed 17 micro wind turbines mounted on parking lot light poles to support the energy needs of its Palmdale store.
Construction was completed this week, and the 17 units – supplied by DeerPath Energy, a renewable energy company from Marblehead, Massachusetts – became fully operational on Thursday.
According to Walmart, which owns Sam’s Club, this is the first U.S. retail micro wind turbine installation of this size.
“Walmart and Sam’s Club are to be congratulated for taking on this major wind energy initiative and choosing the Palmdale store for their first wind installation,” Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford said in a press release. “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. 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 because of the plentiful wind resources in the area, and Walmart estimates that the 17 micro wind turbines will provide 76,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy annually – enough to power more than six average American homes for a year. Surprisingly, though, that’s only enough energy for three to five percent of the store’s needs, and it’s clear that installations like this are only part of Walmart’s larger, multi-faceted sustainability platform.
For example, the company has initiated several 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 addition, next month Walmart will celebrate the completion of a similar mirco wind turbine project at a new Walmart store in Worcester, Massachusetts, and the company says it is already planning to consider other locations for micro wind projects, as well.