Wal-Mart to Open First of Four New High-efficiency Stores

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Wal-Mart to Open First of Four New High-efficiency Stores

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will open the first of its four second generation of high-efficiency stores (known as "HE.2"), which will use 25 percent less energy than the baseline Wal-Mart Supercenter, Jan. 23 in Romeoville, Ill. The location melds what the megaretailer has learned from its successful first-generation high-efficiency stores (HE.1) with new cutting-edge technologies. As well as saving energy, the new stores will considerably reduce greenhouse gas emissions by lowering refrigerant by 90 percent, according to Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart e.v.p. of corporate affairs and government relations Leslie Dach made the announcement at the National Retail Federation's 97th Annual Convention & Expo in New York. The opening dates of the other HE.2 stores weren't disclosed.

"These stores are another solid step toward achieving our environmental commitments," said Dach. "We will continue to find new ways to build stores that have a reduced impact on the environment, and ultimately reach a day when every new store is 25 percent to 30 percent more energy-efficient than it was in 2005."

The boost in energy efficiency results from a new secondary refrigeration loop combined with an advanced water-source heating, cooling, and refrigeration system. Tested in Wal-Mart's Experimental Stores, the technology employs a non-refrigerant-based solution to cool refrigerator and freezer cases, leading to a 90 percent reduction in refrigerant. The HE.2 stores are the first to pair secondary loop technology with a water-source heating, cooling, and refrigeration system in the United States, Wal-Mart said.

"We've learned a lot since we opened our first HE.1 store one year ago, and we are excited to put what have learned into practice with the HE.2," said Charles Zimmerman, Wal-Mart's v.p. of prototype and new format development. "The secondary loop system is ideal because it not only makes the store more efficient, but also allows us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

The HE.2 series will include several learnings from the HE.1 stores and new technological advances, including white roofs, low-flow bathroom faucets, LED lights and an advanced daylight harvesting system.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam's Club locations in the United States. The company also operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom.