Whole Foods Completes Landmark Purchase of Wind Energy Credits

Whole Foods Market yesterday completed its 2009 purchase of 776 million-kilowatt-hour renewable energy credits (RECs) from wind farms, which are equal to 100 percent of the company’s electricity use in its North American locations.

Nearly 90 percent of this year’s purchase is helping to fund E.ON Climate & Renewables’ (EC&R) recently completed Texas-based Panther Creek wind farm. “Whole Foods is working hard to be a leader in environmental stewardship and to make sure that our investment drives new wind power growth for the country,” said Lee Matecko, Whole Foods global VP of construction and store development. “Buying nearly all of our 2009 renewable energy credits from Panther Creek to help bring new power from the wind farm to the grid is a great example of that. And as a Texas-based company, it also feels great to support a Texas-based wind farm.” Whole Foods is based in Austin.

Continuing its commitment to clean energy, nearly 90 percent of the RECs Whole Foods has purchased for 2009 came from a Big Spring, Texas-based wind farm, which is 50 miles east of Midland. The project is built and operated by EC&R North America, a renewable energy developer headquartered in Chicago, with development offices in Austin, Texas, and Denver. The remaining RECs come from a number of different wind farms in locations across the United States and Canada. The total purchase of 776,115,000 kilowatt hours, the largest to date by a U.S. retailer, according to Whole Foods, was made in partnership with Boulder, Colo.-based Renewable Choice Energy.

According to Whole Foods, its 2009 wind power purchase will help avoid up to 868 million pounds of carbon dioxide pollution -- an environmental benefit that's similar to taking more than 72,000 cars off of the roads for a year, or planting nearly 3.6 million mature trees.
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