LaGrange participates in renewable energy project with Walmart

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LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – Walmart made a promise to consumers that by 2035 the corporation will only be using renewable energy. The city of LaGrange services their utilities through MEAG Power which will be building a solar farm for Walmart in Wilcox County. By 2023, all Walmarts located in cities that belong to MEAG Power are expected to be operating on renewable energy.

Patrick Bowie, the Director of Utilities for the city of LaGrange, said Walmart has a contract that includes a pre-fixed price for the solar energy. The pre-fixed price will remain the same for 20 years.

“Well the good thing about this is that it is going to give us some experience with solar. Right now we don’t have any solar facilities in our generation portfolio. This is going to give the city an opportunity to gain some experience with working with solar resources to determine how it works in the market and blends in with the other resources that we already have,” said Bowie.

Any excess energy that is not used by Walmart will be available for the citizens of LaGrange to use. The Walmart locations in the city will be receiving credit for the energy but the actual kilowatt hours will be available for different customers in the city.

Bowie said residents in LaGrange can expect to see their utility bills stay stable because Walmart is underwriting the prices of the solar. If the solar is more expensive than anticipated, Walmart will pay the difference and if it is cheaper, Walmart will receive a credit.

Mayor of LaGrange, Jim Thornton, said he believes this is win/win project because the city will be making money off the sales and Walmart will be fulfilling its commitment.

“We’ll pass along the power to our Walmart customers and any other customers down the road that might choose to embrace renewable energy,” said Thornton.

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