The recently announced 48 MW rooftop solar portfolio will move Lowe’s further toward achieving the company’s stated goal of reducing emissions by 60% below 2016 levels by 2030 and being 50% powered by renewables by 2030. While the North Carolina-based hardware chain has not been topping lists as a corporate solar user, the company has a long history of environmental awareness. Lowe’s won eight consecutive Energy Star awards from 2003 to 2010, including four Energy Star Partner of the Year awards for educating consumers about the benefits of energy efficiency.
Now Lowe’s will embrace solar, with installations on stores and distribution centers. The company selected Connecticut-based Greenskies Clean Focus to provide the solar solution for deployment across a substantial portion of Lowe’s California operations. Under the partnership, Greenskies Clean Focus will design, construct, finance, own and operate rooftop solar energy systems on 52 retail stores and two distribution centers in California. The initial production for the combined 48 MW portfolio is projected at 76 GWh per year, providing 90% of the energy usage at each location.
“Greenskies is proud to support Lowe’s sustainability commitment to fifty percent renewable energy by 2025,” said Stanley Chin, president and CEO of Greenskies Clean Focus. “These projects exemplify how large, multi-site organizations can deploy customized renewable energy solutions at scale to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonize operations.”
Greenskies is a vertical integrator for commercial, public sector and utility energy users, while Clean Focus is the financial arm that finances and owns the systems. Founded in 2009, the company has constructed and is operating 310 MW of renewable energy facilities across 578 sites in 19 states.
Lowe’s will receive renewable solar energy to power the California locations under 20-year, fixed-price power purchase agreements. Greenskies Clean Focus reports that the solar energy will cost less than prevailing utility rates and include environmental attributes, enabling Lowe’s to move closer to its sustainability goals.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association Solar Means Business report, U.S. businesses are increasingly embracing solar power. The report tracks solar and energy storage adoption by businesses across the United States, and its ninth report, released in 2022, finds that nearly 19 GW of solar capacity has been installed with commercial and corporate offtakers and nearly half of that has come online since 2020. Top companies in the retail space include Walmart, Target, Home Depot, IKEA and Macy’s. Lowe’s was not on the list, but the tide is turning.
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