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UPDATE 1-Wal-Mart in wind energy deal with Duke Energy

NEW YORK, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc WMT.N said on Thursday that it had entered into a partnership with Duke Energy DUK.N to have wind power supply up to 15 percent of its energy load for roughly 360 of its stores and facilities in Texas.

Wal-Mart, the world’s biggest retailer, said it expected by April to begin obtaining electricity from a Duke Energy wind farm under construction in Notrees, Texas.

“We’re purchasing renewable power at traditional energy rates,” Kim Saylors-Laster, vice president of energy for Wal-Mart, said in a statement.

The partnership is part of Wal-Mart’s goal of one day using only renewable energy and creating zero waste.

Wal-Mart said the project would provide roughly 226 million kilowatt-hours of renewable power each year -- the energy equivalent of washing 108 million loads of laundry.

While soaring energy prices earlier this year prompted increased calls by politicians for wider use of renewable power, investment in clean energy sources by utilities and financial players has stalled because of the tight credit market conditions.

Oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens said earlier this month that he would delay development of a planned wind farm, and FPL Group FPL.N, the largest U.S. wind power generator, has reduced its planned 2009 spending on new projects. (Reporting by Nicole Maestri and Matt Daily; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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