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Today, in Palmdale, California, Walmart (NYSE:WMT) flipped the switch on 17 small wind turbines in the parking lot of bulk retailer, Sam’s Club.  Based upon estimates, Walmart and Sam’s Club believe the turbines will generate about 76,000 kWh of energy annually, which is enough to power more than six average homes over the same period of time. 

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As Adobe did in the corporate setting with 20 Windspire turbines, with this announcement, perhaps you can say Walmart is flexing its muscles as one of the first retailers in the nation to install small wind in an installation of this size.

The Palmsdale Sam’s Club obtained the turbines from DeerPath Energy, a company based out of Marblehead, Massachusetts.  In a press release, Walmart indicated that this location was selected because it has good wind resources, but take note that 28 company stores in the state are powered by on-site solar and two stores have fuel cell installations. 

Keep in mind that Walmart has a goal to be completely and entirely supplied by renewable energy. 

Green building geeks will tell you that the cheapest way to reach this goal is an early focus on energy efficiency and a subsequent investment in energy-generating technology, such as solar PV and small wind.  Which is why Walmart is also working on pilot projects and next generation stores to increase the energy-efficiency of buildings. 

In May, a similar small wind project will be completed at a new Walmart store in Worchester, Massachusetts, while the company is considering other suitable locations for these micro wind projects. 

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Photo credits: Walmart.