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Target Rolls Out Its First Net-Zero Energy Store


Rooftop solar panels are old news, but solar panels in the parking lot have one of the most ubiquitous big-box retailers thinking net-zero.

Target Corp. has retrofitted a store in Vista, California, to be a net-zero energy facility. The site will generate more renewable energy than it needs to operate and will test various other changes to its physical plant to reduce the building’s emissions, which the company says can be applied to other Target locations in the future.

The site will generate energy through 3,420 solar panels installed on its roof and on newly installed carport canopies in the parking lot. Target predicts that the panels will generate as much as a 10% energy surplus that can be transmitted to the local grid.

The building will also power its heating system via the solar panels instead of natural gas, and the store will use carbon dioxide refrigeration rather than standard systems. Target is planning to use carbon dioxide refrigeration chainwide by 2040, which the company says will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20%.

The final redesign of the store includes more than 1,300 LED lights, which together cut 10% off its total energy usage. 

"Our Vista store’s retrofit is the next step in our sustainability journey and a glimpse of the future we’re working toward,” Target Senior Vice President of Properties John Conlin said in a statement. “Our new stores and remodel programs are designed to help achieve our sustainability goals as we test, learn and scale our innovations."

The company has applied for net-zero energy certification from the International Living Future Institute for the Vista store.

More than 25% of Target stores, or 542 nationwide, already include rooftop solar, producing about 255 megawatts of energy annually.

Related Topics: Target, Target Corp., Net Zero Energy