Leading the Rooftop Solar Charge - Chain Retailers?

Sure, they may be doing so for purely financial reasons, but across America, big box stores are leading the way in embracing renewable energy sources, reports Diane Cardwell.
September 14, 2012, 9am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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According to a report released this week by the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Vote Solar Initiative, "Large chain stores, more than any other type of business, rely on rooftop solar powerto help meet their energy needs."

"Whether driven by brand identity or cost concerns, almost half of the top 20 commercial solar customers are major retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond and Staples," notes Cardwell.

"Retailers are pursuing other forms of renewable energy as well. Kohl's, a department store chain...is also testing wind energy and plans to expand the number of electric vehicle charging stations at its stores. Ikea has included a geothermal power system at a new store in Centennial, Colo."

While the embrace of renewables certainly doesn't offset the other ways in which such stores are harmful to the environment, the findings of the report may be surprising to some. Then again with such large surface areas, the advantages that come with the scale of their operations, and the cost of renewables decreasing, perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise after all that these energy hogs are locking in their rates.

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Published on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 in The New York Times
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