If anyone doubts the vitality of the rooftop solar market in the United States — and the hunger for clean energy that underlies it — one need look no further than “Solar Means Business 2013,” a new report out today from the Solar Energy Industries Association and Vote Solar.
The report, based on surveys of all Fortune 100 companies, supplemented with outreach to smaller companies and database research, shows that major corporations across the country increasingly see investments in solar as good for their bottom lines — a way to cut energy costs and redirect that money to their core business.
Walmart leads the list of top 25 U.S. corporations installing solar, with 215 installations in 11 states nationwide, totalling 89.43 megawatts of power. What’s interesting about those numbers, as the report shows, is that they represent only 5 percent of Walmart’s total power consumption. (Picture below is a Walmart installation in Palm Desert, courtesy of BP Solar.)
IKEA on the other hand is No. 5 in terms of total megawatts, 35.08 megawatts, representing 39 installations in 20 states. But that accounts for 89 percent of the company’s power, according to the report.
Another key finding – one in three Americans now live within 20 miles of a commercial solar installation, and the report has an interactive map where you can drill down to find the installations nearest you.
Walmart has three of its 215 installations in the Coachella Valley, at its Palm Springs and Palm Desert locations. Kohl’s also has a Palm Desert location.