Wal-Mart Stores Inc.has announced a plan to install solar panels on the roofs of up to 60 additional stores in California, boosting its solar portfolio to 130 stores, or 75 percent of its stores throughout the state.

When the 60 additional installations are completed, Wal-Mart expects solar energy to generate up to 70 million kilowatt hours per year—equivalent to more than 5,400 homes; to avoid producing more than 21,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year—equivalent to taking 4,100 carsoff the road; and to provide 20 percent to 30 percent of each facility’s total electric needs. Wal-Mart Vice President of Energy Kim Saylors-Laster says the company’s solar program has already reduced energy expenses by more than $1 million.

MEPT Awarded “Green Star” Status

Private real estate equity fund MEPT has earned the top spot on the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) Foundation’s survey of real estate funds in the Americas.

GRESB gathered data from 340 respondents globally to create a science-based sustainability benchmark. Respondents represented almost $1 trillion in commercial real estate assets. Based on data on its $5.1 billion portfolio, MEPT was awarded top rankings in the Americas and ranked #5 on GRESB’s “Global Top Ten” list, according to the survey, which measures both social and environmental performance of listed and private property funds throughout the world.

Kohl’s Department Stores is First U.S. Company to Earn LEED Gold Precertification

Kohl’s Department Stores’ new store prototype has achieved LEED Gold precertification using the LEED for Retail: New Construction rating system established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) , making Kohl’s the first company in the U.S. to achieve this designation in the LEED Volume Program launched in November 2010. Starting in spring 2012, all new Kohl’s stores will be designed and constructed using the LEED Gold precertified prototype and will pursue LEED certification after construction is completed.

Shorenstein Properties’ Congress Center Receives LEED-EB Gold Certification

Congress Center, a 368,965-square-foot Class A office building at 1001 SW Fifth Avenue in Portland, Ore. has received LEED Gold Certification for an Existing Buildings Operations and Management from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Located in the heart of Portland’s central business district, Congress Center was built in 1980 and renovated in 2001 on the site of the historic 1912 Congress Hotel, elements of which are preserved in the current design of the office building. “Congress Center is the 10th building we’ve guided through LEED certification and the ninth property in our current portfolio,” Shorenstein Properties LLC Executive Vice President Stan Roualdes said in a statement.

OneRoof Energy Secures $50M in Financing

OneRoof Energy, a solar company to work directly with roofers to lease and install residential solar power systems, has secured $50 million in financing and launched a residential solar leasing program allowing homeowners to integrate solar into their new roof at no upfront cost through a simple lease program.

Series A financing was led by Hanwha International, part of the Hanwha Group, representing one of South Korea’s largest corporate conglomerates, which will receive a significant non-controlling stake in the company. The equity investment by Hanwha enables OneRoof Energy to roll out a rapid growth program to develop the residential solar leasing market, specifically targeting roofing companies and large homebuilders. OneRoof’s newly launched SolarSelect Lease program allows customers to make monthly lease payments for the system, which, combined with their new, decreased electric bill, is usually lower than their previous bill without solar.

Daniel Nall of WSP Flack + Kurtz Awarded LEED Fellow Distinction

The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) has named Daniel Nall, PE, FAIA, LEED AP, senior vice president and director of sustainability for the international engineering firm WSP Flack + Kurtz, to the inaugural class of LEED fellows. The LEED Fellow Program is GBCI’s newest and most prestigious professional designation, recognizing exceptional contributions to green building and significant professional achievement within the rapidly growing community of LEED Professionals. Nall was recognized along with the rest of the 2011 LEED Fellow class at the 2011 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Toronto.