It’s not just a fashionable trend. For these retail giants, it is cost-effective and sort of an electricity insurance policy against increasingly frequent blackouts. The size of these retail facilities mean that they already have to pay out enormous sums on roof repair, so solar panels makes sense. Retails roofs are now assets rather than liabilities.
Here are the top 10 retail giants in terms of capacity:
Johnson & Johnson
Walmart leads the pack by a wide margin, but it is after all, the largest company in the world. Walmart’s 144 solar systems boast a combined solar capacity of approximately 65,000kW. In mid-September, Wal-Mart completed its largest system, a 3.3-megawatt project at a distribution center in Buckeye, Arizona. The company has installed 144 systems among its more than 4,500 U.S. stores. (RELATED: All You Need to Know About LNG)
Costco, which also is pushing the sale of PV panels for residences, currently has 62 solar systems with a combined capacity of 38,900kW. Costco has solar systems in five US states, but the company is rather quieter than its fellow solar competitors in terms of future plans and end objectives.
Kohl’s 124 solar systems have a combined capacity of 36,474kW. For three years running, Kohl’s has used 100% renewable energy to meet its electricity needs (of course, much of this is done through the purchase of renewable energy certificates). The company plans to have 200 solar systems on its rooftops by 2015. Since 2011, Kohl’s has seen a 17% increase in its solar systems locations. Kohl’s is boosting its existing solar capacity in the states of California, Connecticut and Maryland and setting its sights on new solar capacity in Massachusetts, New York and Ohio. .