May 03, 2010
As part of a company commitment to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy, Sam’s Club is the first retailer in the U.S. to install a significant number of micro wind turbines mounted on parking lot light poles to support the energy needs of its Palmdale, Calif., location. Construction is complete, and the 17 units are fully operational as of today.
“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,” said Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford. “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 among all of the Walmart-owned properties in the U.S. 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, MA, and are estimated to provide 76,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) 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 in the state.
“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,” said Paul Stone, senior vice president, West Division, Sam’s Club. “This project required a lot of collaboration and we appreciate the City of Palmdale for their efforts throughout the process and construction.”
Wind power is one of the most environmentally friendly sources of renewable energy since there are no greenhouse gas emissions or pollution associated with energy generation. Wind turbines rotate to convert the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical energy.
“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,” said Kim Saylors-Laster, vice president, Energy at 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, Walmart will celebrate the completion of a similar mirco wind turbine project at a new Walmart store in Worcester, Mass. Moving forward, Walmart plans to consider other locations for micro wind projects as well.
In addition to reducing energy use at its facilities, Sam’s Club is helping its members conserve energy and save money. In 2008, Sam’s Club converted nine locations in Southern California to include Home Efficiency Centers. These Centers provide a centralized location to showcase products that improve the efficiency of homes or businesses and include energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) and LED lighting, outdoor solar lighting, high performance furnace filters, high-efficiency toilets and water-saving showerheads. As a result of the success, these key items were rolled out to all clubs nationwide in spring of 2009. As of June 2009, sales of GE CFLs and LED lighting are expected to help Members save more than $360 million over the lifespan of the bulbs, while preventing approximately 5 billion pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere – equivalent to taking more than 430,000 cars off the road.