By Sarah Lozanova
Across the globe, corporations are helping to fuel the clean energy movement and are using solar energy to power their operations, providing consumers a choice to support solar when shopping.
Large U.S. corporations installed 326 megawatts of solar panels in 2017, and now more than 4,000 U.S. companies have installed solar energy systems, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. Corporate investment in renewable energy is boosting solar energy deployment as companies work towards sustainability goals and cut operating expenses.
As the cost of solar energy falls, solar has become a cost-effective source of new power generation. Many of the solar-powered corporations consist of retailers and IT companies. Let’s examine some of the retailers that are leading the way in solar energy installations.
With more than 200 megawatts of total solar energy capacity or enough electricity to power 33,000 homes, Target is the leading retailer for solar energy capacity, and it installed a whopping 40 megawatts of capacity last year. With over 1,800 stores total, Target has a goal to have solar panels on 500 stores and distribution centers by 2020, and it is well on its way with 422 solar systems. In addition, Target has solar systems with battery storage at six locations in Hawaii.
By Sarah Lozanova
U.S. electric utility purchases of solar energy soared in the first half of 2018, despite the Trump administration’s tariff on imported solar panels. In fact, 8.5 gigawatts (GW) of utility solar projects were procured in the first half of 2018, according to a report by report by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, enough solar electricity to power approximately 1.4 million homes. It is good news for the solar energy industry.
Why the Utility Solar Market Is Significant
The market for utility-grade solar photovoltaic (PV) technology is important to follow because utility solar installations comprise over 50 percent of the total solar energy market and are instrumental in large-scale solar energy deployment. What distinguishes utility solar installations is that the power is sold to wholesale utility buyers and not retail consumers as with residential solar installation.
Freelance clean energy writer