WORCESTER – They were heralded as an example of Walmart’s push toward renewable energy, but five years after they were installed, the 12 wind turbines at the Walmart Supercenter in Worcester have been removed.
“We’re going through the data to figure out what we learned, and we’re applying those lessons in a variety of renewable energy projects,” Kara Greco, Walmart director of sustainability communications, told the Telegram & Gazette.
But at the time the turbines were installed, the prognosis for wind power at the supercenter appeared to be long term. The company was to sign a 10 to 20-year contract to buy energy generated from the turbines from Deerpath Energy, which designed and installed the turbines. Deerpath was purchased by Southwest Windpower in 2010, shortly after Walmart’s opening. Three years later Soutwest’s assets were acquired by Xzeres Wind.
Calls to Xzeres and Walmart were not immediately returned.
The Walmart wind turbines were the first to be approved under the city’s revised zoning ordinances that allowed wind turbines in the city.
The city had been working on creating zoning for wind turbines for several years before approving new zoning for them just months before the opening of the Worcester Walmart.
The Walmart in Worcester was approved with relatively little opposition presented, although the wind turbines were often touted as one of the store’s positive features.
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