Take a drive down Highway 87 near Lubbock, Texas, and you’ll come upon a forest of 262-foot-tall wind turbines, turning slowly but powerfully in the breeze. It may seem like you’ve entered a fantasy world, but you’ve actually ventured onto a wind farm—and those turbines are pumping out clean, renewable energy.
This month, Target kicked off its first wind power partnership, buying a portion of the energy produced by Starwood Energy Group’s 211-megawatt Stephens Ranch Wind Project to offset 100% of the energy used at 60 of our Target stores throughout Texas.
“At Target, we’re always on the lookout for sustainable ways to operate our facilities,” says John Leisen, vice president, Property Management, Target. “We’re thrilled to make our start with wind power in Texas, a leading market for wind energy. As we learn from this project, we’ll also be looking across the country for more opportunities to get involved in renewable energy projects in communities where we do business.”
How does it work?
The Stephens Ranch Wind Project is a wind farm consisting of 118 wind turbines (check out the pics above) located across 47,000 acres of land near the city of Lubbock, Texas and represents the first of two project phases totaling 376 megawatts in size. Target will buy the clean energy generated by 40 megawatts—enough to support approximately 60 Target stores in Texas.
Phase 1 of the Stephens Ranch project, as a whole, is estimated to avoid approximately 550,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. (That’s about the same amount that 115,000 passenger vehicles produce in a year!) And besides being a smart move for the environment, wind power makes financial sense.
“We are delighted to partner with Target on this renewable energy infrastructure project,” says Himanshu Saxena, senior managing director and co-head, Starwood Energy Group. “We are pleased to see corporations such as Target becoming a key driver of supporting renewable energy projects.”
Our new wind power partnership is just one way we’re working to become a better steward of the environment. This year, Target was named an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year, the highest honor from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for energy-efficient companies. Today, 76 percent of our buildings are ENERGY STAR certified—more than any other retailer—which means all those buildings meet strict guidelines for energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. And we’re shooting to have 80 percent of our locations certified by 2020.
What’s new with Target’s solar program?
You may have heard about yet another form of renewable energy Target uses—on our rooftops! We’re working toward a goal to install rooftop solar panels on 500 of our stores and distribution centers by 2020. As of early 2016, we had solar panels at 193 sites, with more installations planned throughout the rest of the year.
In fact, by the end of 2016, we’ll have solar up and running at buildings in 20 states across the U.S., from California to Massachusetts to Texas … and even Target’s home state of Minnesota. Solar panels are capable of generating up to one-third of a building’s energy, and we may sell the renewable energy certificates for that energy.
Interested in learning more? Check out more of the ways Target’s designing for more value, positive impact and healthy, vibrant communities.
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