Wal-Mart to Open Second-Generation High-Efficiency Store

Bentonville, Ark. Wal-Mart Stores announced Tuesday it is gearing up to open the first of four stores that will use 25% less energy than the baseline Wal-Mart Supercenter and significantly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. The announcement was made at the National Retail Federation's 97th Annual Convention & Expo in New York City.

The first store will open in Romeoville, Ill., on Jan. 23, combining what Wal-Mart learned from its successful first-generation High-Efficiency stores (HE.1) with new state-of-the-art technologies. In addition to saving energy, the new stores will significantly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by lowering refrigerant by 90%.

The improvement in energy efficiency comes from a new secondary refrigeration loop combined with an advanced water-source heating, cooling and refrigeration system, said the company. The technology was tested in Wal-Mart's Experimental Stores and uses a non-refrigerant-based solution to cool refrigerator and freezer cases, resulting in a 90% reduction in refrigerant. The HE.2 stores represent the first time secondary loop technology has been paired with a water-source heating, cooling and refrigeration system in the United States.