California Sam’s Club Location Sprouts Micro Wind Turbines

Walmart has sure been talking big about going green, and in California, the mega-retailer appears to be taking real action. First, there were solar and fuel cell installations at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores throughout the state. Now, there’s a Sam’s Club in Palmdale, California, that features 17 micro wind turbines mounted on parking lot light poles.

The Palmdale Sam’s Club was chosen for the honor of becoming what is believed to be the first U.S. retailer to install this much wind power because of the available wind resources in the area. The visually striking light pole-mounted turbines were supplied by DeerPath Energy, a renewable energy company from Marblehead, MA, and will provide 76,000 kWh of juice on annual basis (enough to power more than six average American homes for a year–although how much of a bite this will take out of this particular store’s annual electricity budget has not been established). The Palmdale micro-turbine installation has been initiated as a pilot project for other such installations at Sam’s Club and Walmart stores across the country as part of the chain’s committment to deriving 100% of its energy from renewable resources.

Sam's Club Wind Turbines

image via Sam's Club

“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 , in a statement. “With each new project we learn more that can be applied to help us achieve our goal to be supplied by renewable energy.”

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.