Renewable Energy Programs
We have three climate change goals:
- Reduce greenhouse gases at our existing stores, Sam's Club facilities and distribution centers around the world by 20 percent by 2012 (2005 Baseline).
- Design and open a viable store prototype that is 25 to 30 percent more efficient and produces up to 30 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2009 (2005 Baseline) (see buildings).
- Double our fleet efficiency in the U.S. by 2015 (2005 Baseline) (see logistics).
In 2008, Walmart produced more than 7 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity from renewable energy sources in the U.S. The energy was generated by a combination of wind and solar power projects at our facilities.
Solar Power: In our 2007 report, we noted that we would be installing solar projects in up to 22 stores, Sam's Club facilities and distribution centers located in California and Hawaii. Since then, we have successfully completed 20 of those installations with our partners BP Solar, Power Light and Sun Edison and expect to add additional installations in 2009. In 2008, these systems produced more than 7 million kWh of clean, renewable energy. Many of these systems came on line during the last year and we expect a full year's production from all of these systems to reach 16 to 18 million kWh, and could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6,000 to 8,000 metric tons per year.
Wind Power: In addition to solar power, we have also moved into purchasing wind-generated electricity. Last November, we announced that we would enter into a four-year wind power purchase agreement with Duke Energy for our stores in Texas. Approximately 350 of our stores and facilities in Texas began using wind-generated, clean electricity in April 2009. The wind farm is expected to have a 90.4 megawatt capacity, generating 226 million kWh of renewable power each year. This is enough electricity to supply up to 15 percent of our total energy load in these stores and facilities in the deregulated market in Texas, or power more than 20,000 American homes for one year. This purchase will also help us avoid producing 139,870 metric tons of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to the CO2 emissions produced by 18,000 homes every year, or 15.8 million gallons of gasoline when consumed. This initiative represents one of the largest purchases of green power among retailers.
In early 2009, Wal-Mart de Mexico successfully installed the largest photovoltaic complex in Latin America, according to ANES (the Mexican Solar Energy Association). The project consists of more than 1,000 solar panels, is expected to generate 20 percent of the power needed by the Bodega Aurrerá Aguascalientes store and will reduce total CO2 emissions by 140 tons annually.
Wal-Mart Canada is one of the nation's largest commercial purchasers of green power, offsetting coal and nuclear power with wind and low-impact hydroelectric alternatives provided by Bullfrog Power. In 2008, Wal-Mart Canada purchased more than 23,000 megawatts of renewable energy, an increase of the more than 16,000 megawatts purchased in 2007.
Moving forward, Wal-Mart Canada will consider investing in additional sources of renewable energy, including geothermal heat pumps and solar power. Additionally, Bullfrog Power offers Wal-Mart associates a discount on clean energy for their homes.
Our Puerto Rico market is also developing the largest renewable energy project on the island as a consumer. Up to five stores are expected to be outfitted with solar panels in 2009, and they expect the project to expand to 22 stores in the next five years.
In Japan, Seiyu is examining the potential to use solar power at their stores. In the meantime, they are participating in the "Green Electricity Certificate System," which enables them to purchase 1 million kWh of renewable energy for use in their stores every year.