The falling stock market may have spooked investors, but life is supposed to continue on. In this case, it is the continued growth of solar power. The Solar Energy Industries Association has released its Solar Means Business Report to show which companies in America were using the most solar power. There were some surprises here, particularly that Walmart was listed as the top commercial solar user in America.
Collectively, the top 25 companies with the most solar capacity in the U.S. now have 1,110 systems in place which come to a total of 569 megawatts. The report says that this is enough electricity generated from solar to power over 115,000 homes.
Walmart, Kohl’s, Costco, Apple, IKEA were praised in the report for having embraced solar power. Still, not all companies are as widespread in using solar. IKEA was shown to have 87% of its facilities using solar, and General Motors was shown to have solar power in use at 43% of its facilities as solar powered. Walmart was down at 5% — as was Whole Foods at 5%.
As of mid-2014, there were 4,531 MW of commercial solar PV installed on 41,803 business, non-profit and government locations throughout the U.S. 24/7 Wall St. has used diagrams from the Solar Energy Industries Association to show the top 25 commercial users solar by MW capacity, by the number of total solar installations, and then even by which companies have ramped up solar usage by percentage since 2012. We also included the table showing which real estate investment trusts were using the most solar energy.
The average price of a completed commercial Photovoltaic project in the second quarter of 2014 decreased by 14% from the previous year and fell by more than 45% since 2012. For commercial users, average electricity rates increased more than 20% in 10 years, moving from $0.08/kWh to over $0.10/kWh. This has seemingly incentivized companies to add more solar capacity considering the cost of projects versus the cost of average electricity.
The Solar Means Business Report shows that the Top 25 companies for solar capacity as of August 2014 have installed 28% more solar capacity since last year. Of these companies, Walmart takes the top spot, adding another 15 MW in the past year. Target moved up to 8th from 16th with the addition of 15 new solar systems. The companies in the top 25 spots completed solar installations in 33 states and Puerto Rico. This number added three new states over the past year –Delaware, Rhode Island and Missouri. In total, 129 million people, or 41% of all Americans, live within 20 miles of at least one of these 1,110 commercial solar installations.
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