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Target leads the way as U.S. corporations look to go big on solar

Target with Solar Panels

American businesses are investing record amounts in solar, with the top corporate users adding 325 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity last year, according to a report.

Leading the way was Target, which added over 40 MW of solar capacity to its portfolio in 2017. The retailer now has more than 200 MW of installed capacity.

Released Thursday, the "Solar Means Business 2017" report, from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), contains data from more than 4,000 businesses.

"To leading companies across America, deploying solar is a common-sense business decision," Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the SEIA, said in a statement. "Large corporations have found that going solar not only benefits the environment, but also their bottom-line, satisfying both shareholders and customers alike."

The top 10 corporate solar users in the U.S. include businesses such as Walmart, Apple, Amazon and Kohl's.

The impact of corporate solar is not insignificant. The solar installations tracked in the SEIA report produce enough electricity to power 402,000 U.S. houses and offset 2.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.

Target's vice president for property management, John Leisen, said that the business was "putting solutions in place across our business to leave our homes better for future families."

The world has invested $2.9 trillion in green energy sources since 2004, according to the "Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018" report from UN Environment, the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Center, and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The report, released earlier this month, found that 98 gigawatts (GW) of new solar capacity was installed in 2017. Solar power attracted $160.8 billion of investment, more than any other technology. China, where a staggering 53 GW was added and $86.5 billion invested, was described as a "driving power" behind the increase in solar.

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