Lowe's has announced plans to install solar panel systems at 174 of the home improvement retail chain's stores and distribution centers nationwide. Once each site is completed, the solar panels will provide approximately 90% of the energy usage at each location, Lowe's said. Twenty sites are currently in operation.
DSD Renewables will install solar at 55 stores in California (totaling 42.17 MW), as well as 36 stores and three distribution centers in Illinois (totaling 43.13 MW). Greenskies Clean Focus will install solar at 52 retail stores and two distribution centers in California with a combined capacity of 48 MW. Infinity Energy completed solar installations at 20 Lowe's stores in New Jersey and will be installing solar at six additional locations in the state later this year.
This investment in rooftop solar panels builds on Lowe's recent sustainability progress, including achieving its 2025 goal of reducing scope 1 and scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 40% – relative to 2016 emissions levels – four years early. Big box stores, like Lowe's, possess significant potential for rooftop solar electricity generation.
There are more than 100,000 big box retail stores in the U.S. with the potential to generate 84.4 TWh each year from solar, according to a report by Environment America. That's enough electricity to power about 8 million U.S. homes. Solar systems could produce up to half of the annual electricity use of these stores, which doesn't account for systems installed on canopies in parking lots or on warehouse rooftops.
Walmart has the most available rooftop space in the U.S., followed by Target, Home Depot, Lowe's, Kroger, Albertsons, and Macy's. The Home Depot in Bridgewater, NJ – 504.8 kWDC rooftop solar system. (Courtesy: DSD Renewables) Earlier this year, DSD Renewables was tapped to install 13 MW of solar power capacity on Home Depot stores in California.
Solar panels on the 25 stores are expected to generate 17 million kWh of clean energy annually. With this latest collaboration, DSD Renewables will have installed solar power on 98 Home Depot stores.
DSD is continuing to work on projects with Home Depot to broaden its solar energy usage in New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland and Massachusetts, with additional projects planned in Arizona, California, Illinois, and New York. The projects are in pursuit of Home Depot's goal of producing or procuring 100% renewable energy by 2030 equivalent to the electricity needs for all its facilities.