Corporate Solar Purchasers in the Southeast: A Growing Major Market

This blog was written by Alissa Schafer, former Solar Policy & Communications Manager at the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

Guest Blog | September 12, 2017 | Energy Policy

Solar Power International is in full swing here in Vegas! SACE participated in the annual Poster Reception Monday evening, with the information on corporate solar purchases in the Southeast.

While I has prepared the poster on corporate solar procurement, Hurricane Irma unfortunately grounded my flight, preventing my attendance at SPI this year. Thankfully, our new, more than capable, Solar Program Director Bryan Jacob was able to step in and present in my place. For those of you not at SPI, here are some of the main takeaway’s on my poster:


More than ever before, corporations throughout the world are powering their businesses with renewable energy. According to Power Forward 3.0, nearly half of the companies in the 2016 Fortune 500 have set targets to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG), improve energy efficiency, and/or increase renewable energy sourcing—this stat is up five percentage points from 2014. Pushed by social and economic forces, this upwards trend is expected to continue. After a huge bump in 2015, when the Federal ITC was originally scheduled to expire, demand levels of corporate solar capacity have returned to a more incremental rate of increase, with June 2017 numbers already close to 2016’s year end total.

The mechanism chosen for solar power procurement depends on a variety of factors which can include availability of capital, accessibility to space suitable for solar arrays, level of risk or length of a contract the corporation is willing to undertake, or even the knowledge levels of the people making the purchasing decisions. Multiple studies have found that the single most important determining factor in corporate power procurement decisions is the energy policy landscape and certainty in that particular area.

Trends/Potential Markets – Southeastern States have high PV potential in addition to a high number of locations of corporations already procuring renewable energy. Based on a series of analysis, the largest driver in adoption in the coming years will likely be policy certainty. The following corporations have locations in the SE and have also procured renewables in 2016 & 2017:

Amazon, ŸMicrosoftŸ, Johnson & Johnson, ŸDigital RealityŸ, WalmartŸ, GoogleŸ, 3MŸ, Apple, Goldman SachsŸ, General Mills, ŸT-MobileŸ, DeAcero, ŸFacebookŸ, SolvayŸ, Anheuser-Busch

Corporate purchases for solar power are only just beginning to really take off, and this market sector is growing by leaps and bounds! SACE is working diligently to help ensure solar power is accessible, throughout the southeast.

Stay tuned for more blogging from Las Vegas at Solar Power International!

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