For years now Walmart has led the US in terms of businesses with installed solar but this year Target—its chief rival—has unseated the retail giant. With 147.5 megawatts of solar installed, Target barely edged out Walmart, which has 145 megawatts of solar installed, for the title in the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA’s) fifth annual 2016 Solar Means Business report.
“These blue-chip companies are proof that sustainability and profitability is not an either-or proposition,” said SEIA’s interim president Tom Kimbis. “Investing in solar is a common-sense decision that pays dividends for both the environment and companies’ bottom lines and these leaders deserve a big round of applause. They’re not only helping to create thousands of American jobs in solar, the nearly 2,000 corporate systems highlighted in this report are generating enough clean electricity to offset more than 1.1 million metric tons of harmful carbon emissions a year.”
The report ranks the business in terms of their use of on-site solar across 38 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. This is the first time since SEIA began publishing the annual report that Walmart, which had added to its solar portfolio significantly each year in the past, has not topped the list.
The results show a huge and aggressive solar build out for Target, which added 68.9 megawatts of new solar power to its stores over the past year. Indeed, in 2014, Target only had 14.9 megawatts of solar power installed across its network of stores. Last year (2015) Target announced that it would install solar power on the roofs of 180 of its stores and distribution centers across the US by the end of this year.
“We feel honored to be named the top corporate solar installer in the U.S. by the Solar Energy Industries Association,” said John Leisen, vice president of property management at Target. “We’re incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made in improving building efficiencies and reducing environmental impact. Our commitment to installing solar panels on 500 stores and distribution centers by 2020 is evidence of that progress.”
In all the top corporate solar users in the United States have now installed 1,092 megawatts of solar at 1,947 locations across the US. That’s up from 907 megawatts at 1,686 locations in 2015, according to SEIA. While Walmart lost the top spot for overall solar installed it still bests Target in number of installations with 364 installations across the US while Target has 300 installations.
The report also looks are how much of a business’ solar power is produced on site. The clear winner in that scenario is Ikea, while it’s 7th in terms of overall solar installed with 44 megawatts, it has solar power installed at 90 percent of its US facilities. Target now has solar installed at roughly 17 percent of its facilities and Walmart at just over 10 percent of its facilities. The next closest to Ikea in terms of percentage facilities with solar power is General Motors, which has solar installed at about 30 percent of its facilities even though it only has about 12 megawatts of solar installed, total.
While GM didn’t make the top 10 list in terms of amount of solar installed onsite. The companies that did, other than Ikea, Target and Walmart, represent a diverse array of businesses. They include, in order Prologis (107.8 MW), Apple (93.9 MW), Costco (50.7 MW), Kohl’s (50.2 MW), IKEA (44 MW), Macy’s (38.9 MW), General Growth Properties, Inc. (30.2 MW) and Hartz Mountain Industries (22.7 MW).Tweet