American Corporations Love Solar

a guest post by Ken Whiteside, Director of Business Development at ONTILITY, LLC.

American Corporations Love Solar

The list is a familiar one. They are brands you know well, places you shop. They are among the leading companies in the U.S. and they have deployed 445 MW of solar electric production capacity – a 48 percent increase over a year ago.

The annual Solar Means Business Report, which identifies major commercial solar projects and ranks America's top corporate solar users was released this week. The report shows that Walmart is America's commercial solar leader for the second year in a row with 89 megawatts (MW) installed at 215 locations.

The list of companies cited in the report that are moving to clean, affordable solar energy reads like a 'Who’s Who' of the most successful corporations in America: Costco, Kohl’s, Apple, IKEA, Macy’s, Johnson & Johnson, McGraw Hill, Staples, Campbell’s Soup, U.S. Foods, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kaiser Permanente, Volkswagen, Walgreens, Target, Safeway, FedEx, Intel, L’OREAL, General Motors, Toys "R" Us, White Rose Foods, Toyota, and Dow Jones & Company. 

Collectively, they’re playing an increasingly important role in promoting, developing and expanding the solar industry, while reducing their operating expenses, benefiting customers and shareholders, helping to create thousands of American jobs, boost the economy and improve the environment.

Solar growth among these Fortune 100 companies reflects the growth in the U.S. commercial solar sector as a whole. During the first half of 2013, cumulative commercial solar deployment totaled 3,380 MW at 32,800 facilities nationwide — a 40 percent increase from last year.

From its number one spot, Walmart recently announced that it would increase its clean energy projects (including solar) by six-fold, putting it on a clear path to become 100 percent supplied by renewable energy by 2020. This "lead-by-example" approach will continue to have far-reaching impact on the renewable energy industries and the broader economy, spurring companies that are not on the Top 25 list to move in that direction. Competition demands it and customers want it. According to a poll by Hart Research Associates, 9 out of 10 Americans want to see an expanded use of solar.

The demand is present. The price has never been better. The financial options and returns have never been brighter. Solar is a formidable force in the new energy economy. Now is the time to get on board.

Ken Whiteside photo Ken Whiteside has been a fan of solar energy for decades. His first hands-on experience was installing solar on off-grid houses around Telluride, Colorado in the 1990’s (summer in the San Juan Mtns. - somebody had to do it). From his home in Austin, Ken writes and works for widespread adoption of solar electricity, smart energy production and use, and sustainability.
 

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