Retail giant Target has grabbed the top spot among U.S. businesses that are going solar. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has revealed Target’s ascension to the top of the list in the organization’s 2016 Solar Means Business report, which found that more U.S. businesses are installing solar than ever before.
Adding more solar this year than any other U.S. retailer, Target now has 147.5 MW of installed solar capacity, according to the report. This is the first time Target has ranked No. 1 in the report’s five-year history.
“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. “At Target, sustainability is a principle that drives the decisions we make across the company – from the products we make to the way we run our business. 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.”
Other companies recognized in the report’s Top 10 for their amount of solar capacity and number of solar installations include heretofore perennial champion Walmart (145 MW), 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).
“These blue-chip companies are proof that sustainability and profitability is not an either-or proposition,” said SEIA 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.”
Covering corporate solar installs now in 38 states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, the 2016 Solar Means Business report tracks nearly 1,100 MW of solar installations at U.S.’ top companies. To put that in context, the report says, that’s enough electricity to power the equivalent of 193,000 homes every year. Also noteworthy, in just the first three quarters of 2016, the report found 142 MW of corporate solar was added in the U.S., more than was installed in all of 2015 (129 MW).
“Solar plays a vital role within our renewable energy portfolio,” said Mark Vanderhelm, vice president of energy for Walmart. “This is evident by our 2020 commitment of doubling solar energy projects at our Walmart stores, Sam’s Clubs and distribution centers across the nation. Our focus is on finding those solar projects that are right for the business. Being recognized by SEIA for our efforts is confirmation that we are moving in the right direction with regards to renewable energy, specifically solar.”
“As the world’s largest owner and operator of logistics real estate, we’re proud to contribute to a low-carbon future and use our properties as a platform to generate large volumes of clean electricity,” said Matt Singleton, vice president of global energy and development at Prologis. “We are on pace to meet our goal of 200 MW of solar in our global portfolio by 2020, and we appreciate being acknowledged by SEIA for these efforts.”
“We appreciate SEIA recognizing GGP’s commitment to sustainability, which is imbedded in everything we do,” said Shobi Khan, chief operating officer of General Growth Properties. “Solar energy is one of our areas of focus, and we’ve found that solar installations have the capability to deliver a significant amount of clean electricity to our shopping centers. Our investment in solar projects delivers benefits to the environment and strong returns to our shareholders.”
“We’re honored to be named by SEIA as a top company for another year in a row,” said Lawrence Garb, executive vice president and managing director of Hartz Mountain Industries Inc. “Hartz continues to find the economics of the New Jersey solar market very accretive and has continued to increase its pipeline of new projects.”
More information about the 2016 Solar Means Business report is available here.
Photo courtesy of Target: This Target store in Greenville, S.C., features a 596 kW rooftop solar installation.