Solar isn’t just for homeowners. Major businesses are jumping on board to reap the benefits of the tax and energy savings.
These large companies take advantage of many of the incentives available to Delaware businesses, large and small: tax credits, grants, and depreciation. However, Delaware is largely classified as a rural area, so even businesses in coastal areas and near cities often qualify for additional monies not available to the large corporations.
Here’s a look at how a few companies you know are leveraging the power of the sun.
Bragging Rights: Ikea has a solar presence at 90% of its U.S. locations.
With solar-powered stores in 22 states, the hip home furnishings retailer manages the most geographically expansive solar fleet in the U.S. In 2015, IKEA completed its 42nd U.S. solar project: a 259,000-square-foot solar array, installed atop its new store in St. Louis, Mo. The massive 1.28-megawatt system is the state’s largest rooftop solar array. Composed of more than 4,000 panels, it can supply the store with almost 2 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually. That’s the equivalent to powering 169 homes every year. To meet its goal of being energy independent by 2020, IKEA has also installed more than 700,000 solar panels world-wide.
2. Whole Foods
Bragging Rights: Whole Foods generates enough solar energy to meet 107 percent of its power use.
Whole Foods is the eighth largest food and drug store in the country and a pioneer of solar energy practices. In 2002, the company installed solar panels at its Berkeley, Calif., store and became the nation’s first major food retailer to use the sun’s energy as its primary lighting power source. Since then, more of its stores have followed suit. For example, Whole Foods in Brentwood, Calif., now uses solar energy for almost one-quarter of its power needs, and its Edgewater, N.J., store boasts 14,000 square feet of solar panels. The SEIA ranks the organic food grocery 15th among the nation’s top 25 businesses for its number of on-site solar photovoltaic(PV) installations. In all, Whole Foods has solar energy systems at 20 locations, and the company recently announced that it will be installing rooftop solar at 100 stores and distribution centers.
Bragging Rights: Kohl’s ranks sixth in the nation for its total on-site installed solar capacity.
Shopping at Kohl’s is not only good for your budget, it’s good for Mother Earth, too. The value-oriented department store takes an integrated approach to eco-stewardship that includes a hefty reliance on the sun’s rays. Kohl’s has 162 on-site solar systems in 13 states. On average, they deliver 40 percent of the store’s electricity needs. The company’s largest solar panel system is installed at its E-Fulfillment Center 3 in Edgewood, Md. With over 8,000 solar panels, the system produces 3 million kilowatt hours of energy every year. Kohl’s collective solar efforts offset the production of more than 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, or the equivalent of removing almost 7,000 cars from the road. Due to the company’s commitment to alternative energy, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named Kohl’s its Green Power Partner of the Year on three occasions.
4. Johnson & Johnson
Bragging Rights: Johnson & Johnson operates one of the largest solar panel systems in New Jersey.
The Johnson & Johnson company is more than 100 years old, but its use of alternative energy is decidedly 21st century. The company’s total installed solar capacity is nearly 18 megawatts, which is enough power to run about 2,700 homes annually. Johnson & Johnson’s largest system is in Titusville, N.J. It includes a massive 4.1 megawatt ground-mounted system as well as two rooftop systems. Together they can supply the campus with over 85 percent of its yearly power needs. To minimize the use of traditional landscaping services and further reduce the company’s environmental impact, a heard of sheep graze around the ground-mounted panels and keep vegetation trimmed naturally.
Bragging Rights: Walmart has the greatest on-site installed solar capacity in the U.S.
It’s no secret Walmart is the nation’s largest retailer, but you might not know it’s also the country’s foremost consumer of solar power. With the yearly potential of generating 142 megawatts of solar energy, the discount chain ranks first on the SEIA list of U.S. companies with the greatest solar capacity. It’s also recognized by the EPA’s Green Power Partnership as America’s largest on-site renewable energy user. More than 300 solar systems are installed at Walmart’s U.S. facilities and up to 400 more systems are scheduled for installation by 2018. Walmart’s long-term goal is to supply 100 percent of its power needs with renewable energy.
Clean, silent, and renewable, solar is being employed by large companies at an unprecedented rate to reduce their operating costs — and you can, too. Contact us today to estimate the potential benefit of using solar power for your home or small business.
Information courtesy of Solar Power Authority
Did you know that the federal tax credit for solar is often $10,000 or more? What will your refund look like this year? Do you want a better return next year? Installing solar for your home this spring can mean a substantial refund in next year’s tax returns.
How does the refund work?
The federal government is still offering a tax credit that pays for 30% of your system’s cost. Due to uncertainty in Washington, D.C., it is unsure if this tax credit will be in place after 2017. Installing a system this year guarantees you qualification for the federal credit. After 2017 you are at risk of missing out on this additional savings.
This is a true credit, not a deduction off of your income like mortgage interest. For example, when you have a $10,000 tax credit, your refund goes up by $10,000 or what you owe goes down by $10,000.
How do the panels save money?
Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity. A house or business uses that electricity, reducing the amount needed to be bought from the utility companies. When a property cannot use all of the power that is being created by the solar panels, the excess goes through the electric meter, spinning it backward at the same rate as it spins forward. If at the end of a billing period, the meter shows that more power has gone out through the meter than into the meter, a credit will show on that customer’s electric bill. This concept is called “net metering”.
“Our customers tell us time and time again how happy they are to have installed solar. Some of them are hesitant until they receive their first electric bill. When they do, they become our biggest advocates. The exciting thing is that it works! You can actually eliminate paying for your electricity with solar,” said John Sertich, president of Clean Energy USA.
Why should you use Clean Energy USA?
Clean Energy USA not only installs solar on homes, but also on businesses and non-profits. When you combine the savings for all of the systems they have installed to date, the estimated savings on electric bills will be well over $130,000,000. Those savings are based off of the 25 year warranty period of the solar panel. Additional savings well over that will be generated during their expected useful lifetime.
State and federal incentives have helped drive growth in solar, and in turn has made the price of solar lower through increased efficiencies and competition. “The State of Delaware and the power companies have been great partners in solar electricity. It benefits the utilities by providing relief for the grid during peak sunshine hours in the summer,” said Sertich.
Clean Energy USA partnered with local homebuilder Schell Brothers to install solar on new homes built in the region. Schell Brothers homeowners account for nearly half of all residential installations for Clean Energy USA, which has over 1,300 installations to date. “Solar gives our customers the ability to ensure that their bills remain low no matter how expensive electricity may be in the future,” said Chris Schell, president of Schell Brothers.
Who is Clean Energy USA?
Clean Energy USA is a full service local team of experts taking care of everything for your solar installation from planning and design to incentive paperwork and service. Solar should not be complicated and they have the team in place to make your experience easy.
Don’t take a chance with out-of-area companies when your solar will be around for at least the next 25+ years. Clean Energy USA only uses employees for installations including electricians. Nothing is outsourced. With over 1,300 installations, their customers can agree that the smart & simple choice for solar is Clean Energy USA.