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HEB to Power Stores with Windtricity

Regional grocer H.E. Butt Grocery Co. has signed on with CPS Energy, San Antonio's municipally owned natural gas and electric company, to use wind energy to help power its 46 stores throughout San Antonio and Bexar County.

CPS Energy said yesterday that HEB, also based in San Antonio, will become its largest Windtricity customer.

Using wind energy to help power our stores is a testament to sustainability being a priority for our business -- to make a commitment to our environment is to make a commitment to our communities and to the generations of Texans to come, said Dya Campos, HEB public affairs director, in a statement.

Windtricity is a renewable energy option provided by CPS Energy in which electricity generated by wind-powered turbines in west Texas can be purchased by commercial and residential customers.

Thanks to new technologies, generating wind power as energy has become a viable alternative for us as we work to diversify the sources of energy we purchase, noted Bill Reynolds, HEB VP of facility alliance.

All existing HEB stores in San Antonio will run off of 10 percent wind power, the company said. This percentage translates to 20.2 MM kilowatt-hours (kWh). All new HEB locations, including three new stores being built in 2008, will be powered with 35 percent wind power translating to an additional 6.8 MM kilowatt-hours (kWh), which combined is enough energy to power 2,200 homes for a year. In addition, HEB will save 287 MM pounds of CO2 emissions with this purchase.

Earlier this year, HEB said it would work with Wind Energy Corp. in a new research and development project to study the commercial application of Wind Energy's vertical axis wind turbine. The study was set to begin last month at HEB's Weslaco Retail Support Center, in Weslaco, Texas.
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