In America, the big retailers are really grabbing the opportunity presented by their large roof tops to lower electric bills and help the environment by installing solar Pv in massive quantities.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) ranks U.S. companies based on their solar energy capacity, and the top five companies on the list are big retailers:
1) Walmart tops SEIA's list with 65,000 kW of solar power, which is enough to supply the annual energy needs of over 10,000 homes. They recently installed ten new solar rooftop systems in Maryland, totalling more than 13,000 panels. Walmart is the largest retailer in the U.S. and in the world by revenue, with 4,423 U.S. stores and over 10,000 stores worldwide. Walmart and EDF have been working together since 2004 to reduce the Walmart's environmental footprint. With more than 200 solar installations across the country, Walmart plans to have 1,000 solar installations by 2020. Walmart's goal is to eventually supply 100% of its energy needs with renewable energy.
2) Costco with 38,900 kW of solar power. Costco is the fifth largest U.S. retailer and seventh largest in the world, with 425 stores in the U.S. Costco has installed solar panels in approximately 60 stores, with an average size of 500 kW per store. Solar power supplies about 22% of each store's energy needs.
3) Kohl's, with 36,474 kW of solar power. Kohl's is the 20th largest retailer in the U.S. and the 44th largest retailer in the world, with 1,127 U.S. stores. Kohl's has solar panels installed at 139 of its stores, and will have solar panels at 200 stores by 2015.
4) IKEA with 21,495 kW of solar power. IKEA only has 38 U.S. stores, but its buildings can accommodate larger solar installations. By 2020, the company plans to meet 100% of its energy needs with renewable energy.
5) Macy's with 16,163 kW of solar power. Macy's is the 16th largest retailer in the U.S. and the 36th largest retailer in the world, with 840 stores. The company is increasing its solar installations by 25-35%.
Others, you may recognise
8) Staples, 10,776 kW of solar power / 1,583 U.S. stores;
10) Walgreens, 8,163 kW of solar power / 7,651 U.S. stores;
12) Toys "R" Us, 5.676 kW of solar power / 871 U.S. stores.
Now given that these are pretty smart and successful business's one may have to think they are worth following on this green initiative...........