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Thu Aug 15, 2013, 11:14 AM

How Big Box Going Solar Could Impact Utiliies

http://www.earthtechling.com/2013/08/how-big-box-going-solar-could-impact-utiliies/

The electric utility industry faces the risk of declining revenues as more customers install solar panels on their homes and businesses. Solar power currently supplies 2% of the country’s electricity needs, and is projected to grow to 16% by 2020. In 2013, solar panel prices for commercial installations fell 15.6%, from $4.64/watt to $3.92/watt. To protect their revenues, some utilities are raising electricity costs for solar panel owners – but with mixed results. Credit ratings agencies are also expressing concern. Is there real cause for alarm or are these companies crying wolf? Judging by one customer segment – big-box retailers – the threat is real.


Part of Walmart’s rooftop solar in Kapolei, Hawaii. (image via Walmart)

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-box retailers:

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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, totaling 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.

Costco ranks second on the list 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.

In third place on SEIA’s list is 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.

IKEA is fourth 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.

Macy’s ranks fifth on SEIA’s list 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%.

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Reply How Big Box Going Solar Could Impact Utiliies (Original post)
jpak Aug 2013 OP
djean111 Aug 2013 #1

Response to jpak (Original post)

Thu Aug 15, 2013, 11:20 AM

1. "The electric utility industry faces the risk of declining revenues as more customers install solar

 

solar panels on their homes and businesses"
And they are going to kick and scream and block and subvert until they can figure out how to make as much money from solar.
Profit has always been more important than low cost or sustainability or pollution problems.
Every business faces the risk of declining revenues, eventually. It is called change.

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