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Wal-Mart to Add Solar to Settle CA GHG Lawsuits

walmart storefrontWal-Mart Stores has agreed to install solar systems at two planned California superstores as a means of settling two lawsuits it faced over future emissions at the sites.

The settlement calls for Wal-Mart to install rooftop solar panels, efficient heating and cooling systems and LED lighting at the two stores, reports the Press-Enterprise.

Under the agreement, Wal-Mart must install three rooftop solar facilities of at least 250 kilowatts, according to a press release.

Wal-Mart also said it would look for ways to make refrigerators at existing California stores more efficient.

Additionally, Wal-Mart will contribute $120,000 to Mojave Desert Land Trust, which is trying to expand Joshua Tree National Park.

The lawsuits have held back development of the stores for more than two years.

In 2007, the Center for Biological Diversity filed suit challenging the city of Perris’s approval of the Perris Marketplace, a 520,000-square-foot, big-box retail development that would include a 24-hour Wal-Mart Supercenter and generate, according to CBD, close to 40,000 daily vehicle trips.

In 2008, the Center for Biological Diversity and a consortium of groups in the Morongo Basin each filed a lawsuit against the Town of Yucca Valley, challenging the town’s approval of a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Both lawsuits were filed on the basis that the stores’ emissions would violate California greenhouse gas emissions standards set by the California Environmental Quality Act, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Here are more details about the Perris settlement and the Yucca settlement.

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One thought on “Wal-Mart to Add Solar to Settle CA GHG Lawsuits

  1. It is not surprising to me that Wal-Mart was resistant to install energy saving devices on these stores. They are testing sustainable technologies and operations with some pilot sites but these are only at a handful of locations. I am sure making these stores in CA “green” was not in their strategic plan and thus put them in court. I have faith that Wal-Mart will continue to roll out energy and cost saving measures but it will not be overnight. And while there are many critics of Wal-Mart’s “greening”, I find it interesting that when I saw Gary Hirshberg, founder of Stonyfield Farm, speak last year, he said that Wal-Mart is his new hero because of their decision to not carry RBGH milk and their moves toward protecting the natural world. I hope that Wal-Mart finishes its sustainable testing soon so that all new stores they build incorporate every energy saving feature available.

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