Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has opened a prototype superstore in Texas that relies heavily on "green" technology as an experiment in resource and energy conservation.

Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world, unveiled a new store outside of Dallas, Texas that could revolutionize how the company builds and powers their stores.

The experimental design combines a host of renewable energy technologies including numerous solar PV arrays, two, small wind turbines, a bio-fuel boiler to recycle and burn recovered oil from store operations and a nearly endless list of energy-saving and sustainable design principles.

The project in the Dallas suburb of McKinney uses environmentally friendly features such as electricity-generating photovoltaic cells in the skylights. The store will collect rainwater from the roof and parking lot to tend the landscaping year-round. Wal-Mart will open a second green store in Aurora, Colo., in October as part of a three-year test.

Results from the experiments will be measured by independent auditors from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Natural Renewal Energy Laboratory, who will make their findings public, said Don Moseley, head of experimental projects for Wal-Mart. "A number of other big-box retailers are looking at this," said Rick Fedrizzi, president of the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council. "The No. 1 rule in retail is to get people in and have them hang around for a while. In green spaces you have a sense of well-being."


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