Walmart has more solar capacity than 38 U.S. states
Twice as much as Costco, the #2 commercial solar playerThe rapidly dropping price of solar power (see the graph below) is spurring many big companies to put panels on the roofs of their buildings. While that doesn't cure all ills, it's certainly better than getting electricity from dirty sources and wasting all that roof space.
Businesses, including some of the most recognized brands in the U.S., have adopted solar at an unprecedented rate. Since the first edition of Solar Means Business was released last year, U.S. businesses, non-profits and government organizations have blanketed their rooftops and properties with over 1,000 megawatts (MW) of new photovoltaic (PV) solar installations. As of mid-2013, cumulative commercial deployment totaled 3,380 MW at over 32,800 facilities throughout the country, an increase of more than 40 percent over last year. (source)
An increase of 40%! Not bad.
So with 89 MW, they now have more capacity than the bottom 38 states in the U.S. according to the NREL ranking.
As you can see in the graph above, Walmart is now pretty far ahead of the competition when it comes to installed solar capacity, with 89 megawatts. #2 is Costco with about half, then #3 is Kohl's, #4 is Apple (we covered their solar farm here: Apple now uses renewable energy for 75% of its needs), and #5 is IKEA (who's also starting to sell solar panels in some locations).
It remains to be seen if Walmart, and other commercial players, will keep increasing their solar power capacity at this rate over time. It would certainly be nice if in a few years all these ugly big box stores became mini power plants that helped juice up the power grid with clean energy...