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New Report: Leading U.S. Companies Make Big Investments in Solar Energy

WASHINGTON, D.C. –– The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Vote Solar Initiative (Vote Solar) today released the annual Solar Means Business report, identifying major commercial solar projects and ranking America’s top corporate solar users.

The report found that Walmart remains America’s commercial solar leader with 89 megawatts (MW) at 215 locations. The Top 25 companies, ranked by installed capacity, are Walmart, Costco, Kohl’s, Apple, IKEA, Macy’s, Johnson & Johnson, McGraw Hill, Staples, Campbell’s Soup, U.S. Foods, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kaiser Permanente, Volkswagen, Walgreens, Target, Safeway, FedEx, Intel, L’OREAL, General Motors, Toys “R” Us, White Rose Foods, Toyota, and Dow Jones & Company.

Combined, these Top 25 companies have deployed 445 megawatts of solar capacity, a 48 percent increase from one year ago.

“The list of companies moving to clean, affordable solar energy reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of the most successful corporations in America,” said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch.  “These iconic brands are leading the way when it comes to efforts to reduce our nation’s dangerous dependence on foreign energy sources. They’re also helping to create thousands of American jobs, boost the U.S. economy and improve our environment.  At the same time, they’re reducing operating expenses, which benefits both their customers and shareholders.”

"For years, the promise of solar was always 'just around the corner.'  Well, solar has turned the corner, and found itself on Main Street, USA.  These companies – titans of American business – may have vastly different products, business models, and geographic locations, but they all have something in common: they know a good deal when they see one, and they are going solar in a big way," said Adam Browning, Executive Director of Vote Solar. 

“We are pleased with the progress we have made towards installing solar panels atop nearly 90 percent of our U.S. locations,” said Mike Ward, president, IKEA U.S.  “We appreciate the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Vote Solar Initiative for acknowledging our commitment to sustainability as represented by our investment in solar photovoltaic technology.  We are honored to be recognized for helping contribute to the development, expansion and promotion of the U.S. solar industry as we work toward our goal of using 100 percent renewable energy in our operations.”   

“As we work toward our ambitious goal to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy, solar energy continues to be an important part of our renewable energy portfolio,” said Kim Saylors-Laster, vice president for energy, Walmart. “With our size and scale, Walmart is in a unique position to encourage innovation and accelerate the adoption of cost-effective, clean energy alternatives, including solar power.”

“As one of the largest hosts of solar electricity generation in North America, Kohl’s continues to make solar and the use and support of green power key components of our sustainable operations strategy. Solar also plays an important role in our goal to achieve carbon neutrality through 2015. Across all of our sustainability initiatives – from renewable energy and designing energy-efficient buildings to supply chain collaboration and waste reduction – we are demonstrating our commitment to being an environmentally responsible retailer and setting a positive example in the communities we serve,” said Ken Bonning, Kohl’s senior executive vice president.

"Solar energy has played a significant role supporting our corporate goal of promoting the use of 125 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020," said Rob Threlkeld, General Motors manager of renewable energy. "Thanks to organizations, like SEIA, that tout the fiscal and environmental benefits of a solar program, we've seen many companies roll a solar strategy into their business, which is a benefit to everyone."

Solar Means Business also ranks the Top 25 companies by number of solar energy systems, the Top 5 companies in the food services, health and beauty and automobile sectors and the Top 10 retail companies.

Like these companies, America Supports Solar. From coast to coast, solar is creating jobs, saving money and decreasing our reliance on outside energy sources. In total, the companies analyzed for this report have deployed systems in 30 states and Puerto Rico. View map.

Solar growth among these leading businesses reflects the growth in the U.S. commercial solar sector as a whole. As of Q2 2013, the cumulative commercial solar deployment totaled 3,380 MW and was located at more than 32,800 facilities throughout the country, representing an increase of over 40 percent from last year.

SEIA, Vote Solar and The Climate Group will host a Press Hangout today to discuss the report.

Who:   Kim Saylors-Laster, VP of Energy for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Håkan Nordkvist, Head of Sustainability Innovation for IKEA

Rob Threkeld, Manager of Renewable Energy for General Motors

Rhone Resch, President and CEO of SEIA

Adam Browning, Executive Director of Vote Solar

Amy Davidsen, Executive Director for North America of The Climate Group

When: Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 1:30 p.m.

Where: Register at: www.seia.org/events/press-hangout-solar-means-business-report

The complete Solar Means Business 2013 report and additional resources are available at: www.seia.org/solarmeansbiz

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About SEIA:
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to champion the use of clean, affordable solar in America by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.

About Vote Solar:

The Vote Solar Initiative is a non-profit grassroots organization working to foster economic opportunity, promote energy independence and address climate change by making solar a mainstream energy resource across the United States. Since 2002, Vote Solar has engaged at the state, local and federal levels to remove regulatory barriers and implement the key policies needed to bring solar to scale.

Media contacts:

Ken Johnson, SEIA Vice President of Communications, kjohnson@seia.org (202) 556-2885

Rosalind Jackson, Vote Solar Director of Communications & Development, Rosalind@votesolar.org (415) 817-5061

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