SEIA recently released its fifth annual Solar Means Business report, which tracks solar adoptions by some of the largest corporations in the US. This year’s top 10 commercial solar-goers list saw Target nab the top spot from long-standing leader Walmart.
Competition aside, the Solar Means Business report 2016 offered a lot of insight into the state of commercial solar, how we interact with corporate solar in our daily lives, and where the industry can improve.
At a glance, SEIA’s top 10 corporate solar users—many of which are household names—are rather diverse. Industries like retail, food services, real estate, and technology are all represented in the leaderboard.
Businesses like Target, Apple, Costco, IKEA, and Prologis are proving that any industry can reap the benefits of clean energy and sustainability initiatives. These Fortune 500 companies are effectively paving the way for corporations in any industry to pick up the pace or start their journey to installing sustainable energy sources.
Many of us have likely shopped at our local Target or Walmart. You may be reading this on your Apple iPhone. Maybe you recently browsed the racks in Macy’s for new fall clothes. SEIA’s data suggests that our daily interactions with solar power might be more prevalent than we realize.
Consider these insights from the report: Every week, 7.3 million people visit a solar-powered Walmart. That rotisserie chicken you purchased at Costco may have been one of 9 million sold that were kept warm with solar power. Nearly 19,000 Americans are employed at a solar-powered Kohl’s store. That last IKEA trip you made was likely to a solar-powered facility (91% of them have solar!). Apple’s four solar installations produce enough electricity to fully charge over 39 million iPhones every day—for a year.
Now that’s a lot of solar power!
Every week, you’re coming in contact with businesses that have committed to sustainability. They may have a rooftop solar installation. Their facilities may have been designed with passive solar in mind. They may be trying to determine other ways to make their existing structures more environmentally-friendly.
These solar-powered business are providing jobs, services, products, and shopping experiences rooted in a mission to increase their positive impact on our environment.
Commercial solar still has much ground to cover. According to SEIA’s report, 7% of Walmart stores have gone solar. Many of the top solar corporations have only installed a fraction of their solar capacity.
But the potential is there.
SEIA notes that the price of commercial solar has fallen a whopping 58% since they began reporting in 2012, with a 16% decrease in the last year alone. Many corporations are beginning to realize that going solar is a sound investment financially and environmentally. And with a variety of solar mounting structure types available, finding a viable solar solution has become considerably easier.