- U.S. companies are turning to solar power more than ever, with more than 1,000 megawatts of new photovoltaic capacity installed in the past year, according to the report Solar Means Business by the Solar Energy Industry Association.
- The top five companies for installed capacity in the last year were Wal-Mart, Costco, Kohl's, Apple and IKEA.
- The top drivers were a 30% drop in the average installed price for commercial-scale solar since 2011; a desire by businesses to reduce electricity price volatility; and the continued availability of a federal investment tax credit for solar.
Here is a graph showing which U.S. companies have installed the most solar capacity. Click to enlarge.
The trend of large commercial customers embracing distributed generation has been a growing concern for electric utilities. As the SEIA report points out, “solar offers long-term price visibility and a valuable hedge against rising and volatile conventional electricity rates.” Still, most companies with solar stay connected to the utility grid for reliability reasons.