Wind to Power Texas Wal-Marts

John Davis

In one of the largest investments of wind energy by a U.S. retailer, mega-seller Wal-Mart has announced it will buy 226 kilowatt-hours of wind power from Duke Energy for about 360 stores and distribution centers in Texas… around 15 percent of the electricity those places use.

The Washington Post reports that the the four-year agreement will take out of the environment the equivalent of the emissions of 25,000 cars:

The move is the latest step in the company’s three-year-old effort to transform itself into a more sustainable business. Wal-Mart chief executive H. Lee Scott Jr. has vowed that the retailer will eventually be completely supplied by renewable energy. The deal with Duke is expected to be announced today.

“That’s just a huge, huge goal for us to work toward,” said Kim Saylors-Laster, vice president of energy for Wal-Mart. “We’re actually very pleased with our results and excited about the things that we’re learning.”

Nearly two years ago, Wal-Mart began talks with wind power company Tierra Energy, which was based in Austin, to supply its stores. When Tierra was bought by North Carolina-based Duke last year, the company brought Wal-Mart with them.

“They have a very compelling case for their sustainability and environmental effort,” said David Marks, senior vice president for wind energy at Duke. “They were very focused on trying to make as much of their Texas electricity load be renewable as they can.”

Wal-Mart won’t say how much it is paying for the wind power but would say that it won’t be more than it pays for traditional energy (big surprise there, huh?)