Solar Installations Make Cents for Big Businesses

The Solar Energy Industries Association and Vote Solar have released the annual Solar Means Business report, ranking the top brands in the U.S. based on their installation of solar power at their warehouses, stores and facilities. The Top 25 Corporate users have deployed more than 445 MW of solar energy at nearly 1000 facilities in 30 states. These 25 companies produce enough power on their own to power 73,400 American homes.

In fact, the 3,380MW of cumulative commercial solar PV deployment at 32,800 facilities across the US installed through the first two quarters of 2013 represent an increase of more than 40% compared to the same time last year.

The consistent decline in the cost of PV systems has continued to improve the solar value proposition to commercial users. The average price of a completed commercial PV project has dropped by 30% since the beginning of the 2011 making solar more affordable than ever for American businesses.

In the eyes of some of the most iconic, well-managed companies, solar means business.  For many companies, electricity costs represent the single largest operating expense. The continued fall in solar system prices and the adoption of innovated financing models that can reduce up-front costs allow companies that have deployed solar to dramatically reduce energy expenditures. In a growing number of markets, companies can either generate or purchase solar energy at or below local retail electricity rates, saving businesses money from “Day 1”.Utility price volatility also presents a challenge to businesses’ long-term budgets. Solar allows companies to lock in fixed energy prices for decades.

American businesses have gone solar at an unprecedented rate in the past few years. The list below shows the massive investment leading companies have made in solar and ranks businesses by their total on-site solar installed capacity, or the maximum power potential measured in megawatts.