Taking Care of Business: Top 20 Companies Going Solar

From coast to coast major companies are going solar. A recently released report by Vote Solar and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) shows that major corporations are taking advantage of clean energy technologies to save money on their utility bills. The report, Solar Means Business: Top Commercial Solar Customers in the U.S., ranks the top 20 companies in terms of the amount of on-site solar capacity.

Taken all together, the top 20 solar-powered companies generate an estimated $47.3 million worth of electricity each year, which could power more than 46,500 average American homes. Ranking at a respective 1, 2 and 3 are big box stores Walmart, Costco and Kohl’s. With a lot of roof space and high energy demand, big box stores are an ideal place for solar. “What do all of these major businesses have in common?” Vote Solar’s Executive Director Adam Browning asks. “They know a good deal when they see one, and so they are all going solar in a big way across the US.”

Here are some other fun facts from the press release:

  • The companies analyzed for this report have deployed more than 700 individual solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on their facilities in at least 25 states and Puerto Rico.
  • More than 1.2 million solar PV panels were used for the Top 20 corporate solar users' installations. Combined, these arrays would cover more than 544 acres of rooftops.
  • Walmart and Costco combined have more solar PV installed on their store rooftops than all of the PV capacity deployed in Florida, the Sunshine State.
  • The top 10 companies (by capacity) have individually deployed more solar energy than most electric utilities in the US.

Momentum for companies going solar continues to build. Ikea tops the list for having the most stores with solar at 79% across 16 states. And while not currently on the list of the top 20, Apple is constructing a 20 MW solar facility to help power a datacenter in North Carolina. In the next five years, businesses, non‐profits, schools and public agencies will likely add 7,000 MW of solar. That’s enough to retire seven coal-fired power plants. And it’s not only big companies; small businesses are signing up for solar too.

The bottom line: solar saves money, and companies big and small already know this.