Throughout 2019, tech companies such as Apple and Facebook, retailers such as Walmart and Target, and other corporations from real estate companies to banks installed a combined 1,283 megawatts of new commercial solar capacity in the United States—enough to power more than 243,000 homes.
That figure comes from the Solar Energy Industries Association’s latest Solar Means Business report. After 2017, 2019 was the second largest year on record for corporate solar investments (corporations installed 1,368 megawatts of solar capacity in 2017). U.S. corporations have invested in a cumulative total of 8,300 megawatts of solar power.
SEIA’s annual report tracks both on-site (solar panels on the roof of your local Walmart or Target) and off-site (when a company gets its energy from a separate solar farm) commercial solar installations. Though slightly behind 2017 in terms of overall added solar capacity, 2019 was a record year for on-site solar installations, with 845 megawatts of solar power installed right on company premises.
The annual report also ranks the top corporate solar users, based on a company’s overall solar capacity. Apple leads the country in terms of most solar capacity, followed by Amazon, Walmart, Target, and then Google in the top five. Walmart installed the most new solar in 2019 with 122 megawatts, which increased the company’s overall solar use by 35%. Now, Walmart has a total of 331 megawatts of solar capacity overall. Each week, according to SEIA, more than 7.2 million people—2.2% of the country’s population—shop at a Walmart store with a solar installation.
The top 10 corporate solar users:
6. Kaiser Permanente
This surge in solar power is a result of both corporate environmental commitments and the fact that solar can save these