Oct 27, 2016: In the midst of the booming solar industry in the US, Target has now become the top installer of solar power in the nation, surpassing Walmart for the first time, according to a report by Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
Target has installed nearly 70 MW of solar panels at its facilities in 2016. The US solar company has 147 MW of solar panels operational at 300 different installations. In contrast, Walmart consists of 145 MW of solar panels at 364 separate locations. Each week 2% of the US population pays visit to a solar-powered Walmart , the report added.
Apple, IKEA, Costco, Prologis and Kohl’s are the other companies with big installations of onsite solar panels, according to the report. Smaller retailers with less real estate have completely or nearly maxed out their respective solar panel space. For instance, IKEA has set up solar panels at 90% of its facilities.
More companies turning to solar
A number of companies right from retailers to tech firms are increasingly turning to solar to power buildings since the price of solar panels have reduced drastically over the past few years.
2016 was a big year for the solar industry in the US, and nearly 14 GW worth of solar installations are likely to be installed across the nation by the end of 2016, according to the report. 14 GW of solar energy can power 2.3 million homes, and is equal to around 14 huge natural gas or coal plants.
More than 70% of solar energy is likely to come from huge extensive solar panel farms known as utility-scale solar built in distant regions, and selling power to utilities. On the contrary, most corporate solar farms are set up on building rooftops.
The corporate solar installations have slightly higher prices as compared to the large utility-scale solar systems, and this segment hasn’t developed as rapidly as utility-scale solar for homes. However, companies are still purchasing solar panels with the view to go green and reduce their energy bills.