Tech giant Apple is now the leading procurer of corporate solar in the United States with nearly 400 megawatts (MW) of total installed capacity, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association’s Solar Means Business 2018 report. This report puts the power of corporate commitments to clean energy on display, as the world’s largest and most-recognizable companies turn to solar energy in historic numbers.
This year’s report contains data from both on-site and off-site installations, tracking more than 7,000 MW of installed solar capacity across 35,000 projects, up from 2,500 MW and 7,000 projects in the 2017 report.
“Top companies are increasingly investing in clean, reliable solar energy because it makes economic sense,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “During the Solar+ Decade, corporate solar investments will become even more significant as businesses use solar to fight climate change, create jobs and boost local economies. When global brands go solar, the rest of the world takes note, and this report puts the power of corporate solar investment on full display.”
Tech and retail brands like Amazon, Target, Walmart and Google fill out an impressive Solar Means Business 2018 Top 10.
“Playing a significant role in helping to reduce the sources of human-induced climate change is an important commitment for Amazon,” said Kara Hurst, Director of Sustainability, Amazon. “Major investments in renewable energy are a critical step toward addressing our carbon footprint globally. We will continue to invest in these projects and look forward to additional investments this year and beyond.”
Considering only on-site solar installations, the top three businesses remain the same as the 2017 report, with Target, Walmart and Prologis leading the way.
“We are honored to be recognized by SEIA for a 3rd consecutive year for our solar development,” said John Leisen, vice president of property management at Target. “Target is committed to sustainable operations and creating a healthier environment for our team members and guests with renewable energy.”
“Prologis was among the first in the logistics real estate industry to invest in solar, and our future-focused approach to environmental, social and governance practices has put us on pace to surpass our goal of 200 MW of solar capacity by 2020,” said Matt Singleton, senior vice president, Global Energy, Prologis. “We are honored to be recognized for our efforts to deliver value to our customers and minimize our environmental impact through our renewable energy program.”
Falling prices and more flexible financing and procurement structures have led to rapid growth in corporate solar adoption, with more than half of all corporate solar capacity in the U.S. installed since 2016.
Today, the 7,000 MW of installed commercial solar generates 10.7 million MWh of electricity annually, enough to power 1.4 million homes.
This 7th edition of the Solar Means Business report notes that each week 6.6 million people visit a Walmart store with onsite solar, Amazon’s solar installations offset the CO2 equivalent of more than 200 million miles of truck deliveries, and Apple’s solar facilities generate enough electricity each year to charge more than 60 billion smartphones.
For more key takeaways, graphics, rankings and the report’s underlying data, go to SEIA’s digital Solar Means Business 2018 page.
— Solar Builder magazine