Monday, August 6, 2012
As Walmart installed solar panels on its 100th California store in San Diego last week, a 265-foot-high wind turbine was rising outside one of the retail giant’s distribution centers in the rural reaches of the Golden State.
The 1-megawatt, General Electric turbine in Red Bluff is Walmart’s first such installation and the next stage in the company’s efforts to eventually obtain 100% of its energy from renewable sources.
The company has installed micro-turbines a top light poles at stores in California and Massachusetts that generate between 2 to 3 kilowatts of electricity but Red Bluff is the first facility that will boast a full-sized wind turbine like those found on wind farms that generate hundreds of megawatts of power.
Just don’t expect to see giant wind turbines go up at your local Walmart. Besides the inevitable headaches that would come from trying to obtain permits to install a 25-story machine with blades that stretch 250 feet, such a turbine would generate more electricity than a typical store needs, Pool says.