As solar prices have fallen and options for investing in clean energy have expanded, the number of commercial solar installations has grown rapidly across the country. From rooftop systems on local businesses, to solar parking canopies supporting a corporate headquarters, to large off-site installations powering data centers, these projects are as diverse and varied as the companies themselves.
according to the “Solar Means Business 2019” report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Corporate solar adoption has expanded rapidly over the past several years, with two thirds of all capacity installed since 2015. The 1,286 MW installed in 2019 represents a 10% increase from 2018 and is second to only 2017 for annual commercial deployment. The surge in on-site commercial solar continued in 2019, with a record 844 MW installed, while 441 MW of off-site projects were completed. The systems tracked in this report generate enough electricity each year to power 1.6 million U.S. homes.
Top 10 Rankings
- Apple – 389.3 MW
Tech giant Apple places 1st in the SEIA’s list. Earlier last year, Apple announced that its global facilities were powered by 100 percent clean energy. CEO Tim Cook described the development as a significant milestone for the business.
- Amazon – 369.0 MW
Amazon is committed to powering their operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025 as part of their goal to reach net zero carbon by 2040. As of June 2020, Amazon has 91 renewable energy projects across the globe that have the capacity to generate over 2,900 megawatts (MW) and deliver more than 7.6 million megawatt hours (MWh) of energy annually—enough to power more than 680,000 U.S. homes.
- Walmart– 331.0 MW
Walmart grabs third place in the SEIA’s list. Looking at the bigger picture, the retail giant wants to slash emissions from its value chain by one billion metric tons by 2030.
- Target– 284.8 MW
Target added over 40 MW of solar to its portfolio in 2017. The business had more than 203.5 MW of installed capacity in the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)’s 2018 report. Which made target in the first place of the list in 2017. Target will reduce its absolute Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent below 2017 levels by 2030. They also committed to 80 percent of their suppliers setting science-based reduction targets on their Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2023.
- Google– 245.3 MW
Google is the first major company to make a commitment to operate on 24/7 carbon-free energy in all their data centers and campuses worldwide. This is far more challenging than the traditional approach of matching energy usage with renewable energy, but they are working to get this done by 2030. This will mean every email you send through Gmail, every question you ask Google Search, every YouTube video you watch, and every route you take using Google Maps, is supplied by clean energy every hour of every day.
- Kaiser Permanente– 181.8 MW
Kaiser Permanente has installed solar power at 100 sites. That power will generate 114 megawatt-hours by 2021, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 27,203 tons. Kaiser Permanente will continue to expand its focus by reducing the carbon footprint of its supply chain in the next phase of becoming carbon neutral.
- Switch– 179.0 MW
Switch was one of two primary supporters for a ballot initiative in the state of Nevada to create a well-regulated open-energy market. This ballot was successfully passed with 73% of the vote – making it the most successful ballot in Nevada’s history. The result of this initiative extends not only to businesses who operate in Nevada, but also to the residents of the state. The Switch Sustainability Initiative has driven all Switch data centers in North America to be run by 100% renewable energy. In 2016, Switch began construction of two solar power stations in Las Vegas, Nevada with a combined 179MW of capacity. These facilities have the ability to power all Switch data centers with 100% renewable energy, remove the equivalent of 50,000 cars off the road, and eliminate 265,000 carbon tons of emission from the environment.
- Prologis– 133.7 MW
Prologis commits to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 21 percent by 2025 and 56 percent by 2040 from a 2016 base-year and reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions 15 percent by 2025 and 40 percent by 2040 from a 2016 base-year. Prologis also commits to 400 MWs of installed solar capacity across their portfolio by 2025.
- Facebook– 119.5 MW
In 2020 and beyond, Facebook’s global operations will achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions and be 100 percent supported by renewable energy.
- Solvay– 81.4 MW
Solvay committed to doubling the rate at which it reduces emissions, with a goal of curbing greenhouse gas emissions by 26% and aligning its trajectory with the “well below 2°C temperature increase” goal outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement by switching to renewable and low carbon energies, improving energy efficiency continuously, and developing clean technologies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions released by chemical processes.
Written By: Laila Elazhary