Tablet Business

Wind packs a powerful punch in Denton

Maybe you’ve seen those three wind turbines that flank the University of North Texas’ Apogee Stadium in Denton. But did you know they just give a hint of the wind power that zips through the city’s electrical grid?

Denton, which has a municipal electricity provider, gets about 40 percent of its juice annually from wind, according to a recent report from the Rocky Mountain Institute. The highly regarded energy think tank has even calculated that Denton has more wind power per capita than any other U.S. city.

Hear that, oh-so-green Austin?

Denton Municipal Electricity in 2009 inked a deal to buy power from NextEra Energy, which operates the Wolf Ridge Wind Farm about 40 miles away in Muenster. It also gets enough power from generators powered by landfill gas to run about 1,600 homes, or less than 1 percent of its use. (Unfortunately, most of the rest of the power comes from a coal-fired plant that Denton owns along with some other Texas munis — but nobody’s perfect.)

RMI says Denton has also committed to some solar demonstration projects in the city this year, is using more energy-saving LEDs in traffic lights and offers what it calls the best rebate for residential photo-voltaic systems in the state.

All while keeping what the city says are the lowest electricity rates in North Texas. Looks like Denton is Mean Green in more ways than one.

WinCo Foods opens in

Fort Worth this week

Fort Worth gets a new supermarket competitor Thursday when WinCo Foods opens its first area store in southwest Fort Worth.

The Boise, Idaho-based, employee-owned company has hired 160 workers, with even part-timers who work at least 24 hours a week eligible for medical and retirement benefits. Ten other staffers are coming from out of state.

The 94,000-square-foot store is located at 8000 Crowley Road, on 12.5 acres at the southwest corner of Sycamore School and Crowley roads. WinCo Foods bought the land a year ago.

“We are a discount supermarket,” spokesman Michael Read told us. “We shouldn’t be thought of as a warehouse store,” he went on, explaining that while each store has a warehouse-style “wall of value,” the rest looks like traditional supermarkets. But maybe cheaper.

“Our pricing is nose-to-nose with Wal-Mart and any other discounter, with a pleasant environment,” Read said.

One feature is a selection of 900 different bulk food items sold at highly competitive prices, he said.

WinCo also plans to open an 85,000-square-foot store at Dick Lewis Drive and Thaxton Parkway in North Richland Hills this quarter. It’s opening a store in McKinney on Thursday as well.

WinCo stores are open 24 hours a day and have 18 checkout lanes, but shoppers will bag their own groceries. Self checkout lanes will also be available.

Read said it remains to be seen how rivals in this hyper-competitive retail food market will react to WinCo’s entry. The chain expects each store to draw people from about an 8-mile radius.

TD Ameritrade job fair

at Alliance on Wednesday

TD Ameritrade is hiring in Fort Worth. The brokerage company, which has an operations center in the Alliance area, will hold a career fair from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the main building of its facility at 4600 Alliance Gateway Freeway.

The company, based in Omaha, Neb., with corporate offices in Jersey City, N.J., has about 1,800 associates in Fort Worth working in technology, client service, investment consulting, brokerage operations and support for its institutional business, said spokeswoman Beth Evegan. She said the company is looking to fill more than 35 open positions with the primary focus on filling an upcoming financial representative training class, which has more than 25 openings.

Candidates interested in financial representative, client service, brokerage, auditing or IT positions are encouraged to attend to gain insight on the jobs and company. Attendees are asked to bring a resume and will receive a short tour of the facility plus information on the application process. More information can be found at the company’s website.

TD Ameritrade opened its Alliance facility in 1999. In 2011, it received $1.2 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund to expand the Alliance office, with the goal of adding nearly 500 jobs within three years. The Fort Worth City Council approved $300,000 in economic incentives for the company in August 2010.

— Steve Kaskovich

Studios 121 inks deal

after new investment

Studios 121, a Fort Worth-based, full-service video production and broadcast studio, has partnered with Business Talk Radio and Lifestyle Talk Radio to broadcast and provide production for 30 shows each week for the two networks.

“These are exciting times at Studios 121,” said Joseph Steuert, Studios 121 president and chief executive officer.

At the end of 2013, Connemara Finance Co., an investment group represented by Steuert, bought the remaining shares of Studios 121 owned by one of the co-founders, Michael Fletcher.

Fletcher served as chairman and CEO from 2008 until 2011 but has not been actively involved with the company since then. Connemara is an original investor in 121 and owns the business’s property.

“As we look forward, our new team has developed a synergistic culture, focusing on excellence and integrity with a passion for our work and success of our clients,” Steuert said.