Retail Sector Dominates On-Site Solar Generation

by | Sep 13, 2012

Retailers Walmart, Costco, Kohl’s, Ikea and Macy’s make up the top five corporate solar users in terms of on-site capacity, with other retail businesses taking four of the remaining spots in the top 20, according to a report by the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Vote Solar Initiative.

Walmart has 65,000 kW in installed capacity, according to Solar Means Business: Top Commercial Solar Customers in the US. Costco boasts 38,900 kW of capacity. Walmart and Costco combined have more solar photovoltaics installed on their store rooftops than all of the capacity deployed in the state of Florida, the Sunshine State, the report says.

According to the report, Ikea now has solar power at 79 percent of its locations. The furniture retailer recently announced the activation of a 1,014 kW solar photovoltaic system at its Bloomington, Minn., store.

Media company McGraw Hill is the sixth biggest company by solar capacity.

Heading up the food and the auto industries are Campbell’s Soup and General Motors. The companies place ninth and 13th respectively. By 2020, the automaker’s goal is to use 125 MW of renewable power across its operations.

The top 10 companies by capacity have individually deployed more solar energy than most electric utilities in the US, the report says. And the amount of solar installed by the Top 20 solar-powered companies could power more than 46,500 average American homes. Altogether, US commercial solar installations could power more than 390,000 American homes, the report said.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a number of the corporations named in the report also rank on the EPA’s list of top renewable energy purchasers. Kohl’s, Walmart and Staples all feature in the top 10 US renewable power buyers, according to July figures from the EPA’s Green Power Partnership. Intel topped the list with an annual green power usage of 2,798 million kWh.

The top 20 corporate solar users in terms of on-site capacity are as follows:

1. Walmart
2. Costco
3. Kohl’s Department Stores
4. Ikea
5. Macy’s
6. McGraw-Hill
7. Johnson & Johnson
8. Staples, Inc.
9. Campbell’s Soup
10. Walgreens
11. Bed, Bath & Beyond
12. Toys ‘R’ Us
13. General Motors
14. FedEx
15. White Rose Foods
16. Dow Jones
17. Snyder’s of Hanover
18. ProLogis
19. Hartz Mountain Industries
20. Crayola

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