Last Wednesday, July 15, the Wal-Mart in Leavenworth, Kansas reopened its doors, becoming the first member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Retailer Energy Alliance (REA) to implement a parking lot supported by LED lighting, according to LEDs Magazine.
The LED lighting for the parking lot is based on specifications developed by the REA. The Wal-Mart Superstore is the one of 43 retailers engaged in a DOE program called the Net-Zero Commercial Building Initiative (CBI). According to the CBI web site:
The [initiative] aims to achieve marketable net-zero energy commercial buildings by 2025. Net-zero energy buildings generate as much energy as they consume through efficiency technologies and on-site power generation.
The Kansas Wal-Mart will also serve as a test site for other Wal-Mart stores, as it evaluates the feasibility and benefits of LED lighting in the parking lot.
“LED parking lot lighting offers potentially enormous energy savings,” writes LEDs Magazine. It also noted:
The DOE and its national laboratories predict that LED parking lot lights will reduce parking lot energy needs by more than 50% and maintenance costs by more than 80% compared to traditional parking lot lights. For retailer sites that are open 24 hours a day, traditional lights must be replaced every two years; LED lights will be replaced every 10 years on average.
With predicted numbers like that, it’s a wonder Wal-Mart was first in line. Or is it?