Walmart moves toward total renewable business


Walmart recently announced in a collaboration with ENGIE North America, more than 500 MW of new renewable energy generation capacity now operational across three separate wind projects.

Together, these projects are expected to supply renewable energy annually to hundreds of stores, clubs, and distribution centers across Texas, South Dakota, and Oklahoma. This is enough renewable electricity to power more than 240,000 average American homes for an entire year.

According to the American Clean Power Association, as a result of these transactions, Walmart procured the most wind energy of any company in the U.S. in 2019.

This collaboration will allow Walmart to purchase offsite power from three separate wind farms in Texas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. Together, these facilities are expected to help avoid as much as 1.3 million metric tons CO2 of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

But beyond being better for the planet, these facilities also provide more direct benefits to communities by creating local opportunity. They support employment ecosystems all their own. According to ENGIE North America, the three projects supplied 1,000 construction jobs at their peak and are expected to deliver more than $400 million in landowner lease payments, taxes, wages, and commitments over the life of the project.

The partnership highlights how Walmart’s investments in infrastructure, paired with innovative thinking, are creating change for people and the environment in ways that will benefit the communities Walmart serves, its associates, and customers for years to come.

Bringing this amount of renewable energy online represents an important leap forward in Walmart’s renewable energy journey, reinforcing its broader mission to spark collective climate action and drive environmental sustainability.

But it still stands as part of the bigger picture toward reaching the company’s goal of becoming a regenerative company.

It’s not just wind energy that’s helping Walmart fulfill its renewable ambitions. The sun is playing its part, too. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, in 2019, Walmart added the most solar of any company in the U.S., increasing its solar use by more than 35 percent. This growth in solar was driven by several large offsite solar projects added to Walmart’s history of using solar at its facilities. And according to the EPA Green Power Partnership Top 30 Retail Ranking, Walmart was the top retailer in terms of annual green power usage in the U.S. in 2020.

These recent strides have moved Walmart closer to meeting its goals. In 2020, renewable sources supplied an estimated 36 percent of its electricity needs globally. To date, Walmart’s actions will have helped to bring more than 3 GW of new renewable energy capacity to power grids since 2008. As of the end of 2020, Walmart had more than 550 onsite and offsite projects in operation or under development in eight countries, 30 states, and Puerto Rico.

Last year, the renewable energy supplied by Walmart’s projects globally grew to more than 4 billion kWh.

Beyond efforts to scale renewable energy for Walmart’s own operations, the company is encouraging its suppliers to act in theirs through Project Gigaton, an initiative to avoid a gigaton of greenhouse gas emissions from the global supply chain by 2030. In September 2020, in collaboration with Schneider Electric, Walmart launched Gigaton PPA™ to help engage its suppliers in accessing renewable energy purchases and accelerating greater renewable energy adoption.

Securing innovative, scaled energy transactions is another step toward Walmart’s goal of being powered by 100 percent renewable energy by 2035 and achieving zero emissions across its operations by 2040.