American Businesses Are Installing More Solar Than Ever Before

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A new report has found that American businesses are installing more solar than ever before, with the numbers growing 183% over the last four years.

According to a new study released earlier this week by the US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), growth in the use of solar energy among America’s top companies has skyrocketed 183% over the last four years since the first Solar Means Business report was published. The new report, published by the SEIA, analyzes the number of America’s leading businesses turning to solar, which increased 59% since just last year.


Walmart again took top spot for the fourth year in a row with “a robust” 142 MW of solar PV capacity across 348 locations.


Other major businesses lining the top of the pile in terms of solar capacity and number of installations include Kohl’s, Apple, Macy’s, Walgreens, Target, IKEA, Prologis, FedEx, Intel, General Motors, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, Bed Bath & Beyond, Safeway, Hartz Mountain, Staples, L’Oreal, Kaiser Permanente, and Toyota.

“These blue-chip companies have realized investing in solar is a common-sense, cost-effective decision that pays dividends for both the environment and their bottom lines,” said Rhone Resch, SEIA President and CEO (who speaks below). “Not only are they helping to create thousands of American jobs in solar, the nearly 1,700 systems currently in operation are generating enough clean, reliable electricity to offset nearly 890,000 metric tons of harmful carbon emissions a year.”

With the current COP21 United Nations climate negotiations currently ongoing in Paris, and numerous funds and pledges being made by countries and businesses alike — including the recently announced Mission Innovation and Breakthrough Energy Coalition — the role of businesses leading the way has never been more important.

The full report is available for download from SEIA.

A number of company officials were quoted by the Solar Energy Industries Association, and are quoted below:

“Solar is an important part of our renewable energy program,” added Mark Vanderhelm, vice president of energy for Walmart. “We believe in advancing solar deployment by pursuing projects that make business sense. In fact, in 2014 we committed to doubling the number of on-site solar energy projects at our U.S. stores, Sam’s Clubs and distribution centers by 2020. We’re excited about our continued work towards meeting that goal and appreciate being acknowledged by SEIA for these efforts.”

“Prioritizing renewable energy options like solar power at our facilities not only helps us reduce our spending on traditional energy but also reduces business risk and our impact on climate change,” said Rob Threlkeld, GM global manager of renewable energy. “As a result, we regained our ranking as the top automotive user of solar in the US.”

“Over the last decade, L’Oreal USA has been persistent in improving our environmental performance through innovative sustainability solutions,” said Jonathan Maher, Vice President of CSR & Sustainability at L’Oreal USA. “SEIA’s efforts to promote solar energy usage align with our approach to examine every opportunity to increase our solar output, as shown in the latest Solar Means Business ranking. Our significant solar capabilities and energy efficiency achievements are thanks to our dedicated employees and facilities, who continue to infuse social and environmental sustainability into every aspect of L’Oréal’s business.”

“FedEx is committed to connecting the world responsibly and resourcefully,” said Mitch Jackson, vice president of Environmental Affairs and Sustainability, FedEx Corporation. “This includes minimizing impacts on the environment with our 15 solar installations, helping us avoid more than 4,600 metric tons of CO2 emissions in FY15, reducing our environmental footprint.”

“Solar energy is an integral part of Intel’s renewable energy portfolio, and we are committed to embracing, evaluating and implementing new projects and innovative learnings around the world,” said Marty Sedler, director of Global Utilities and Infrastructure at Intel Corporation. “Solar will continue to be a core part of our alternative energy solution because it provides leadership, helps spur the market, makes renewables more accessible, and reduces the overall carbon emissions from electricity generation directly used for our facilities.”

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5 thoughts on “American Businesses Are Installing More Solar Than Ever Before

  • So larger companies have more solar…

    I’d be interested in seeing a graph of who gets the highest percent of their energy from solar (and wind for that matter – though preferably separate, just for curiousity sake)

    • Yes, having 30% of electric verse 2% is a much bigger statement. Walmart has been getting way too much green washing credit. But hey, maybe it they showed precent, I would be eating some crow pie. I know that several years back Walmart got a bunch of press for committing to install PV on 6 Ohio store, including the on in the valley below our home. But no of them every happened 😮 Of course GOP gov did roll back Ohio RE requirements so …

      • No, as much as I’d love to say Walmart is doing well, only 3% of their electricity is sourced from all renewables (so solar is less than 3%) while coal is approximately 40%.

        Feel free to fact check me:

        My guess is by percent, Walmart wouldn’t even make the list of top 100. (Or top 25 even if you only take fortune 500 companies).

        I know Ikea is actually doing very well, and I believe Apple, costco, and target are doing fairly well in that regard. The rest, I would have to research… (Unless anyone has some info for me?)

  • Apparently the quotes for commerical rooftop solar are significantly cheaper than those for residential rooftop solar, which probably has something to do with this…

    • Commercial roofs are usually flat, so they are easier to work on.

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