Recently a huge list of mainstream corporations was published showing that many of them have their own solar power systems. In fact, if you total the number of megawatts for the top 19, there is about 440 MW of solar capacity.

The largest solar power plant in the world has a capacity of about 550 MW, meaning that large corporations like Walmart, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Apple have a combined solar capacity not too far off that of the largest solar power plant in the world.

Walmart 105.1 MW
Kohl’s 50.2 MW
Costco 48.1 Mw
Apple 40.7 MW
IKEA 39.1 MW
Macy’s 20.8 MW
Johnson & Johnson 17.8 MW
Target 14.9 MW
McGraw Hill 14.1 MW
Staples 13.7 MW
Campbell’s Soup 12.4 MW
US Foods 11.3 MW
Bed Bath and Beyond 11.3 MW
Kaiser Permanente 10.3 MW
Volkswagen 10 MW
Walgreens 10 MW
Safeway 7.5 MW
Fed Ex 7.1 MW
Intel 6.9 MW

Press about them tends to be about the individual company efforts such as IKEA’s solar power expansion at one of its stores in Michigan. However, the fact that well over 400 MW of solar power has been installed by large corporations isn’t talked about much, and this is a huge success story.

Additionally, the cost of solar panels has dropped very much recently, so it might turn out that some of these companies will continue to expand their solar power systems.

Does it surprise you that Campbell’s Soup and Macy’s have invested in solar power systems? (One might expect Apple to do so because it is a leading technology company.) These two are mainstays of American culture and have been in business for decades.

The perception of solar power might be much more leaning towards ‘green’, ‘enviro’, ‘liberal’ and so forth but the great thing about solar adoption by large corporations is that partisan politics don’t factor in first. The decision to go with solar power has much more to do with economics. These businesses have been successful partly by being able to adapt to new conditions in the marketplace. They didn’t choose solar power based on personal preferences or whimsy.

This fact is important because these companies are providing examples of successful solar adoption right now, not somewhere in the distant future.

Their solar adoption is creating some positive press and the companies themselves sometimes publish information about their sustainability initiatives.

If Safeway can invest in solar power, surely every day citizens can too.