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Walmart, Starbucks and Smithfield join for US wind power

Trio of corporate giants between them take total output from 300MW Oklahoma project

US corporates Walmart, Starbucks and Smithfield have signed up for all the output from the 300MW Diamond Spring wind farm in Oklahoma.

The trio will buy power for between 12 and 15 years from the wind farm, which Allete Clean Energy will begin operating next year.

Pork group Smithfield became the last to sign up when it agreed to take 75MW from the project. Retail giant Walmart will buy 150MW and coffee empire Starbucks 50MW.

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Allete – which bought Diamond Spring from original developer Apex earlier this year – said its “strategic purchase” of wind turbines safe-harboured under the the US production tax credit had helped drive down its power price. It did not specify the producer of the turbines used.

Walmart – which has an ambition to be 100% renewable powered – said: “The energy we'll procure from this facility represents an important leap forward on our renewable energy journey.”

The US is the centre of a sharp increase in procurement of renewable power by corporates looking to help meet green energy targets.

Analysts at BloombergNEF said earlier this week that corporates have signed deals for 5.7GW of renewables globally so far this year, with wind and solar running neck and neck with 2.8GW each. The Americas continued to dominate, accounting for 86% of deals done in 2019 so far, said the research group.

About 50 corporate heavy hitters including Facebook, Google and Amazon this week slammed EU member states for not addressing corporate PPAs in vital national energy plans.

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