• SEIA’s report claims in the year 2019, US businesses installed 1,286 MW of new commercial solar PV capacity
  • Apple leads the list of the top 25 companies covered in the report and is also distinguished as the company with the most off-site solar installed in 2019
  • Of more than 8 GW installed so far in this space in the US, almost half of all corporate solar capacity has been installed in the last 3 years
  • Over the next few years, it expects an additional 5 GW off-site capacity coming online
  • In the absence of federal inaction on climate change, SEIA believes it is a positive to see the private sector opting to install clean energy, including some of the most recognizable brands leading the way

In the year 2019, businesses in the US collectively installed 1,286 MW of new commercial solar PV capacity in the country, an annual improvement of 10%, taking the cumulative installed capacity in this segment to a total of 8,358 MW, according to the findings of the US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) in the 8th annual edition of its Solar Means Business 2019 report.

The report covers both on-site and off-site solar installations of 25 technology companies, major retailers and other corporate leaders in the country.

It was Apple that claimed the top spot as the company that installed the largest solar capacity in 2019, maintaining its lead as reported by SEIA in its Solar Means Business 2018 report (see Apple Tops US Corporate Solar Buyers List). The tech giant has 398.3 MW solar PV capacity in its portfolio having installed most off-site solar in 2019.

Apple is followed by Amazon with 369 MW installed and Walmart with 331 MW in the top 10 ranking of the highes solar PV capacities installed. Target is on the 4th position with most onsite solar capacity installed at its facilities adding up to a total of 283 MW. Google is ranked 5th spot with 245.3 MW installed capacity. Facebook has made it to the top 10 list on 9th position with 119.5 MW, compared to its 27th position in the previous edition.

Even though these aren’t huge numbers, SEIA points out it is still significant to see some of the most recognizable brands in the world opting for a clean energy source such as solar PV, mostly because it enables them to save on their energy costs as the price to install solar has dropped by 30% in the last 5 years. At the same time, businesses are increasingly going in for ‘explicit’ renewable energy and carbon goals.

“Absent any national action to address climate change, the renewable energy commitments of large corporates will continue to be a vital element in the fight to curb global emissions,” the report writers point out. “Many of the most recognizable global brands recognize the economic and environmental benefits of investing in solar and are demonstrating leadership in clean energy development.”

According to the report, almost half of the global corporate solar capacity has been installed in the US in the last 3 years. Another noteworthy feature is that off-site corporate solar represents nearly a quarter of all installed commercial capacity in the country. SEIA expects an additional 5 GW off-site capacity coming online over the next several years. US businesses aren’t much impacted by the disruptions caused by COVID-19, the report pointed out.

SEIA details its findings on corporate solar in the USA in its Solar Means Business 2019 report on a dedicated website on the subject.