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The healthcare industry is striving to meet its ESG goals and be a part of the solution for climate change. Here are common questions that are asked when it comes to achieving this goal.

Who should be at the table for ESG?

Facilities Manager and Engineers

Facilities Managers and Engineers are instrumental in identifying and implementing energy-efficient measures, reducing waste, and promoting sustainable building practices. Their expertise in building operations and maintenance ensures that ESG initiatives are seamlessly integrated into the facility's day-to-day operations.

They source the electricity bills, have a say in keeping the appearance of the location to meet their image, and provide and locate access to important infrastructure questions (ex. breaker, electrical room, and generator).

They will bring all the questions and concerns that they might have given that the panels will likely be going on top of the facility, so they’ll bring their insight that is going to be crucial during the process.
Engineers are going to have a better understanding of the conditions of the facility such as the age of the roof, how much energy the facility uses, and how much they’re spending on electricity.
They also have a say in what they want the hospital to look like with the addition of solar panels. Once they approve the design, they will send it to the board of directors and executive board to vote on it.

ESG Manager

The ESG manager brings expertise in environmental sustainability to the table. They develop and implement ESG strategies aligned with the organization's goals, ensuring that environmental considerations are integrated into decision-making processes.
They will have a plan or roadmap that they have been working through and collaborating with the executive board, which will show what tackling ESG will look like for the organization. This could be from a carbon reduction standpoint or any sustainability standpoint.


The C-Suite positions are going to want to get involved early on in this process.

Chief Financial Officer

The CFO will be able to understand the metrics that the project needs to fit within the budget to make sure that the project is possible. They provide tax information to see how the tax credit incentives can be applied to the installation.

Every CFO is specific to their location, meaning that they are not the CFO of the entire organization as a whole.

Chief Executive Officer

The CEO will be able to give high-level insight and feedback on what they think needs to happen in order to make the project a success. They check to make sure the project reflects the overall mission of the company.

Both of these positions will be able to give a big-picture view of what their organization is looking for and their insight into what they want to uncover with their ESG goals.

Chief Supply Chain Officer

The CSO is involved with the facility's emission of their entire supply chain. 40% of the healthcare industry's scopes are scope 3 emissions, which include supplies and purchased services. It’s the CSO's responsibility to control those emissions. This role cares more about the total emissions resulting from the facility's supply chain.

Chief Investment Officer

The CIO is recommended to be a part of the conversation of achieving a facility's ESG goals because they oversee what the facility invests in to make their organization better. They are going to

To generate substantial returns for the company, they employ investment strategies. Therefore, investing capital to increase their ROI from the solar system will be a top priority.
What benefits does the IRA provide for clean energy installations?

In 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) brought some positive news for the healthcare industry. It offers many benefits that can enhance a healthcare facility's sustainability initiatives, reduce costs, and improve patient care.

FAQ Healthcare + Solar

Affordability of Solar Energy

The IRA extends and expands the federal solar tax credit (ITC), providing a significant 30% tax break on the cost of installing solar panels. This tax incentive can substantially reduce the upfront costs associated with investing in solar, making it a more financially attractive option for healthcare organizations.

Reduced Energy Costs and Environmental Impact

Healthcare facilities are among the most energy-intensive buildings in the commercial sector, accounting for nearly 10% of all commercial energy use in the United States. By adopting solar power, healthcare organizations can significantly reduce their energy costs, leading to financial savings and a reduced carbon footprint.

Improved Patient Care and Well-being

The transition to solar energy can contribute to improved patient care and well-being in several ways. By reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, solar power promotes cleaner air quality, which can benefit patients with respiratory illnesses and allergies.

Also, the cost savings generated through solar energy can be reinvested into patient care services and technology upgrades.

ESG Performance and Reputation

Solar energy is a visible symbol of a healthcare organization's commitment to sustainability and responsible business practices. This commitment can enhance the organization's reputation among environmentally conscious patients, employees, and investors, further strengthening its brand and attracting employees with the same morals.

Leadership in Sustainability and Innovation

By working towards their ESG goals and leveraging the IRA's incentives, healthcare organizations can position themselves as leaders in sustainability and innovation. This leadership can inspire other healthcare providers and businesses to adopt similar practices, creating a domino effect of positive environmental impact in the industry.

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has paved the way for a more sustainable future for the healthcare industry. By capitalizing on the act's incentives, healthcare organizations can reap the benefits including reduced energy costs, minimized environmental impact, enhanced patient care, improved reputation, and be seen as leaders in sustainability and innovation.
Will installing solar disrupt my facility's operations?

The prospect of integrating solar energy into a healthcare facility's sustainable solutions may raise concerns about potential disruptions to healthcare facility operations.

Solar development companies prioritize minimizing disruption and work closely with facility managers to ensure a seamless transition. They make sure that the project is installed at a less busy time for them to provide as little impact as possible. In most cases, solar panel installation can be completed without interrupting patient care or disrupting essential services.


Cold Storage Industry Faces Rising Energy Costs

Energy prices are increasing.

The cost of electricity and natural gas, the two main sources of energy for cold storage facilities, has been rising steadily in recent years. This is due to a number of factors, including increased demand and supply chain disruptions.

“So far this year, electricity costs at our cold storage warehouses are significantly higher than during the same period last year.

Some experts say that the spike in electricity from 2022 to 2023 will subside, but the electricity demand will continue to increase with the push for more clean energy and EVs. We will always focus on energy, specifically the electricity cost.”
- RLS Logistics

Cold storage facilities are energy-intensive.

To maintain the necessary temperatures, cold storage facilities must run their refrigeration equipment 24/7. This can use a significant amount of energy, especially for older facilities that are not as efficient.

The cold storage industry is growing.

Meeting the demand for cold storage is a tough challenge, especially with all of the rising costs. The global cold storage market is expected to grow from $265 billion in 2022 to about $330 billion between 2022 and 2030.

This growth is being driven by a number of factors, including the increasing demand for frozen food, the growth of e-commerce, and the need to store vaccines and other pharmaceuticals.

Impact on Cold Storage Operations

Increased costs for businesses

Cold storage businesses are having to pass on the increased cost of utilities to their customers. This can make it more expensive for consumers to purchase frozen food and other products that require cold storage.

Reduced profits

The rising cost of utilities is squeezing the profits of cold storage businesses. This can make it difficult for businesses to invest in new technologies and expand their operations.

Competitive challenges

Cold storage businesses that are unable to control their energy costs may be at a competitive disadvantage to businesses that are able to do so. This is especially true in markets where there is a lot of competition for cold storage space.

Cold Storage Industry

Challenges in the Cold Storage Industry

Rising Inflation

Cold storage operators are facing rising costs for energy, labor, and transportation. These rising costs are forcing cold storage businesses to raise prices for their customers. This can make it difficult for them to compete with other food supply chain participants, such as grocery stores and restaurants.

Lineage Logistics, the largest cold storage operator in the United States, has announced plans to raise prices for its customers by 5% in 2023. This is a significant increase, and it reflects the challenges cold storage operators are facing.

The rising cost of energy is one of the biggest challenges for cold storage operators. The facilities require a lot of energy to operate, and even a small increase in energy costs can have a significant impact on their bottom line.

The cost of labor is another major expense for cold storage businesses. As inflation drives up wages, cold storage businesses will have to pay more to attract and retain workers.

In addition to rising energy and labor costs, cold storage businesses are also facing rising transportation costs. These businesses rely on transportation to move food products to and from their facilities. As the cost of transportation increases, so will the costs of doing business for cold storage businesses.

It’s unknown how the rising costs will impact the cold storage industry in the long term. However, it is clear that cold storage operators are facing significant challenges in the short term.

Labor Shortages

The cold storage industry is growing rapidly, driven by the rise of e-commerce and the increasing demand for cold-stored food products. However, the industry is struggling to retain workers.
There are a few reasons for the labor shortage in the cold storage industry.

Americold Realty Trust, the second-largest cold storage owner in North America, has increased wages and benefits for its workers in an effort to bring more workers in. A number of huge companies are following in their footsteps and doing the same for their workers.

Cost of Materials

Cold storage facilities require a variety of materials to operate, including insulation, refrigeration equipment, and warehouse racking. The cost of these materials has increased significantly in recent years due to a number of factors, including rising inflation and supply chain disruptions.

This issue is putting pressure on cold storage margins and making it more difficult for operators to operate profitably. To combat this, cold storage operators are taking a number of steps, such as sourcing materials from alternative suppliers, negotiating lower prices with existing suppliers, investing in more efficient equipment, and passing on some of the cost increases to customers.

Economic Uncertainty

In a market with rapidly changing prices, it's difficult for cold storage facility owners to predict future expenses, estimate customer demand, and effectively manage their finances. The uncertainty caused by inflation can make long-term planning and financial stability a significant challenge.

The rising cost of doing business is having a negative impact on the cold storage industry. Some cold storage facilities are being forced to raise prices to offset the rising costs. Other cold storage facilities are being forced to cut costs, which can lead to a decrease in the quality of service.

Energy Efficiency In The Cold Storage Industry

Cold storage facilities consume a significant amount of energy, with refrigeration alone accounting for up to 80% of total energy consumption. Other components, such as lighting, pumps, motors, conveyors, and fans, also consume energy, contributing to the high overall energy costs of operating these facilities. Depending on the size of the facility, it may use several million kWhs per year.

However, cold storage facilities are becoming more energy efficient, thanks to advances in technology. This transformation includes reducing energy consumption, integrating renewable energy sources, and smart control systems. These efforts are both economically and environmentally beneficial, as they reduce the industry's carbon footprint and align with global sustainability goals.

The Key to Strategic Energy Efficiency

Utilizing demand management technology is a valuable tool for cold storage facility owners. It allows them to gain a deep understanding of their facility's operational patterns, particularly regarding energy usage. This insight enables strategic monitoring, helping owners make informed decisions on optimizing energy efficiency.

It's highly recommended to collaborate closely with the frontline facility staff and the engineering team. Their expertise in the facility's workings and the nuances of refrigeration equipment can provide valuable insights and contribute to more effective energy management strategies.

Cold Storage Industry

Solar Solutions to Cutting Costs and Competing with Rising Utility Costs

Cold Storage facilities have relied on fossil fuels to power their operations, which has a significant environmental impact. However, solar-powered cold storage facilities can generate their own clean electricity from the sun, reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to cold storage industry's ESG goals.

The global solar-powered refrigeration market is projected to reach $990 million by 2025, demonstrating the industry's recognition of its benefits.

Power Purchase Agreements

Solar PPAs can help cold storage facilities reduce their electricity costs and improve their sustainability. Under a solar PPA, a solar developer installs and maintains solar panels on a cold storage facility's roof.
The cold storage facility then purchases the electricity generated by the solar panels at a discounted rate. This can lead to significant savings on electricity bills, especially in the long term.

PPAs are a cost-effective way for businesses to save money on their electricity bills without having to invest any upfront capital.

Cold Storage Industry

How Will Solar Help You Compete With Rising Utility Costs

Financial Benefits

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is a major opportunity for cold storage facilities to reduce operational costs, decrease grid reliance, and support renewable energy. The IRA provides $369 billion in federal incentives, including tax credits that cover up to 70% of the cost of a solar system, and additional grants.

Cold storage facilities that install solar often experience a significant 35% reduction in energy costs, with an average payback period of 5 years. This makes solar power a cost-effective and sustainable investment.

Energy Savings

When combined with battery storage, solar can save money on energy bills and improve resilience during power outages. Solar also provides reliable energy, which allows cold storage facilities to offset their peak demand charges, saving them even more money.
Environmentally Friendly

Solar-powered refrigeration reduces the cold storage facility's carbon emissions and carbon footprint, making it a sustainable choice for the industry.

Case Study

A Chevrolet dealership in Clearwater, Florida partnered with ESA to meet its current and future energy needs, including the charging of upcoming new electric vehicles.

By installing 729.96 kW of solar panels, the dealership reduced its total electric bill by 84%, saving over $3 million over the next 25 years.

The project will generate a 16% internal rate of return, paying for itself in just under 6 years.

Healthcare Industry's Environmental Impact

The healthcare industry contributes to approximately 8.5% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and approximately 4.5% of global emissions. These emissions are generated mostly from the continuous operation of energy-draining facilities and the extensive production, food, medical devices, and various goods and services bought, and sometimes wasted, all in the course of providing care.

Scope emissions 1, 2, and 3

Scope emissions are a way of classifying greenhouse gas emissions based on where they occur in the value chain.

How do healthcare facilities use all three scopes?

Within the healthcare sector, emissions are categorized into three scopes:
Scope 1: These emissions originate from sources owned or directly managed by healthcare organizations, including emissions from facilities like specific medical gases and on-site boilers.


Scope 1 emissions make up approximately 7 percent of the total emissions from the healthcare sector.
Scope 2: This category includes indirect emissions resulting from the generation of energy purchased by health systems, primarily in the form of electricity.


Scope 2: emissions account for around 11 percent of emissions related to healthcare.
Scope 3: Covering all additional indirect emissions, Scope 3 emissions result from the production and transportation of goods and services acquired by the healthcare sector. This category includes emissions associated with pharmaceuticals and a range of medical products and devices.


Scope 3 emissions constitute over 80 percent of the total emissions in the healthcare industry.

Navigating Sustainability in Healthcare

Why ESG Is Crucial In The Healthcare Sector

In general, having a strong ESG program suggests your organization is good at handling risks, saving money, and adapting to community needs.
Since healthcare is all about taking care of people and communities, ESG practices are a good match. Putting all these efforts into one ESG plan helps ensure the organization keeps growing and improving.

Environmental Side of ESG:

Hospitals and healthcare groups produce about 8.5% of the U.S.'s greenhouse gas emissions.

To deal with this, small changes can be made that help the environment and save on costs.

These might include:

The Problem of Measuring and Taking Action on ESG

ESG can be difficult to measure and take action on, especially in the healthcare industry. Healthcare organizations have complex operations and supply chains, and they often face competing priorities. There is no universal or one-size-fits-all method for ESG. Each healthcare organization needs to develop its own ESG strategy based on its unique goals.

ESG For Healthcare

Challenges Of Measuring And Taking Action On ESG In The Healthcare Industry

Multiple ESG Frameworks

Evolving ESG Regulations

Complex ESG Data Management

Understanding, Managing, and Quantifying ESG Risks

Navigating Sustainability in Healthcare

Decarbonization in the Healthcare Industry

Decarbonization in the healthcare industry is the process of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the sector. It’s important that organizations take this matter seriously because the healthcare industry is a major contributor to climate change.

The healthcare industry has several avenues for achieving decarbonization. Transitioning to renewable energy sources like solar and wind power is one approach, alongside improving energy efficiency through the use of more advanced equipment and sustainable infrastructure. Healthcare organizations can also reduce their emissions by reducing waste, investing in sustainable transportation, and purchasing sustainable products and services.

Decarbonizing the healthcare industry has a number of benefits. It can help to reduce the sector's environmental impact, improve public health, and save money. By reducing their emissions, healthcare organizations can also improve their reputation and attract and retain patients and employees.

Specific Examples Of How Healthcare Organizations Are Decarbonizing:

Climate Pledge

On April 22, 2022, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in partnership with the White House, issued a call to action for the healthcare industry to commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030 through an initiative aimed at reducing emissions across the sector, the Climate Pledge.

These ambitious pledges align with President Biden's objective of achieving a 50-52% reduction in nationwide greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and ultimately reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.

Since then, the healthcare industry has witnessed groundbreaking commitments, including:

Sustainable Solutions in the Healthcare Sector

Sustainable Solutions in the Healthcare Sector

Solar energy is a key part of achieving net-zero emissions and practicing sustainability in the healthcare sector. Solar panels can be installed on the rooftops of healthcare facilities to generate clean electricity.
Facilities may also opt for solar carports, serving a dual purpose by providing shade to employees and customers while simultaneously generating electricity. Solar can also be used to power electricity for EV chargers, giving customers the luxury of charging their electric vehicles while inside the building.

Benefits for Healthcare Organizations That Committed to the Healthcare Sector Climate Pledge and Solar Energy Investments

Reduced Environmental Impact

Improved Public Health

Reduced Energy Costs

A number of healthcare organizations have already signed the Healthcare Sector Climate Pledge and invested in solar energy. For example, Kaiser Permanente has added over 44 MW of on-site solar generation, and Children's National Hospital has installed a solar panel system that will benefit the community by lowering utility costs for 325 families by up to $500 per year.
The Healthcare Sector Climate Pledge and solar energy are two important ways that the healthcare sector can reduce its environmental impact and improve public health.

Case study

AdventHealth Orlando, a faith-based, non-profit hospital campus in Florida, has installed the largest solar project in Orlando. The 850-kW solar carport on top of their McRae parking garage was installed in partnership with SunPower by esaSolar.

This installation, which includes 32 electric vehicle charging stations and is expected to save the facility over $4.6 million in energy costs, significantly advances the facility's sustainability goals and underscores its commitment to clean, renewable energy.
It is the largest solar project within the city of Orlando, and AdventHealth plans to install similar solar projects at other facilities in the Central Florida area in the future.



What is community solar?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, community solar is described as a solar initiative program within a specific geographical region. This setup ensures that the benefits of solar energy are distributed among various beneficiaries, including individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations. In most cases, customers benefit from energy generated by solar panels at an off-site array.

Customers of community solar projects usually sign up for, or in certain instances, have ownership in a section of the energy produced by the community solar array. They then get a credit on their electric bill for the electricity generated by their share of the community solar setup.

It offers an attractive option for individuals who cannot install solar panels on their own roofs, whether due to renting their property, financial constraints, or unsuitable roofing. Due to this community solar is growing rapidly all over the country.

How does community solar work?

Community solar projects generate electricity from sunlight, which is then sent to the utility grid through a meter. Subscribers, which can include households, businesses, or any electricity customer, pay for a portion of the electricity produced by the community solar project. This payment is usually made in the form of a monthly subscription fee.

The local utility compensates the community solar provider for the energy produced, and each subscriber receives a credit equivalent to their share of the dollar value generated by their community solar subscription. Normally, this credit is directly applied to the subscriber's monthly electric bill, effectively lowering their overall electricity expenses.

Benefits of Community Solar

The benefits of community solar are very impactful, making it an attractive option for individuals, businesses, and communities. 

Community Solar Benefits

Here are some key advantages of community solar:

Lower Electricity Costs

It allows participants to enjoy cost savings on their electricity bills. By subscribing to a shared solar project, they receive credits for the electricity generated, reducing their monthly expenses.

Clean Energy

Community solar projects generate clean and renewable energy from the sun. This reduces the reliance on fossil fuels and helps combat climate change by decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.


It makes solar energy accessible to a broader range of people. It's an ideal solution for those who cannot install solar panels on their own properties, such as renters or individuals with unsuitable roofs.

Energy Equity

It promotes energy equity by ensuring that all members of a community, including low-income families, can access the benefits of clean energy.

Environmental Benefits

By reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable energy practices, community solar contributes to a cleaner and healthier environment.

Local Job Creation

The solar projects create jobs in installation, maintenance, and operations, benefiting the local workforce and economy.

Businesses and community solar

With the installation of community solar systems, businesses are transforming into powerhouses of clean energy production, effectively becoming energy providers for their communities. This transformation isn't limited to a single industry alone; it sets an inspiring precedent for businesses across various sectors.

By investing in renewable energy, a single business can act as a catalyst for a wider shift towards sustainability. It's an innovative approach that fosters economic growth, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and promotes the responsible use of our planet's resources. 

This collaborative utilization of solar energy democratizes access to clean power. It means that not only businesses but also individuals can benefit from a local, reliable, and sustainable energy source, all while having their own stake in where and how they generate their own power.

Low-income families and community solar

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initiated a $7 billion grant competition as part of President Biden's "Investing in America" plan. The aim is to make affordable, dependable, and clean solar energy more accessible to millions of low-income households.

The upcoming grant competition aims to allocate funds for two key purposes: expanding existing low-income solar initiatives and launching new Solar for All programs nationwide.

These Solar for All programs are designed to ensure that low-income households have fair access to residential rooftops and community solar power. They achieve this by providing financial support and incentives to communities that were previously excluded from solar investments.

These programs guarantee that low-income households can enjoy the advantages of distributed solar energy, including savings on their energy bills, enhanced energy resilience, and other benefits. Residential solar power not only reduces home energy costs but also provides families with reliable and secure electricity.

Solar for All is committed to extending these meaningful benefits to low-income and disadvantaged communities. As part of the program, it aims to secure a minimum of 20% savings on the total electricity bills for participating households. 

Benefits Of Community Solar

How does community solar help the environment?

Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Solar energy is a climate-friendly choice as it doesn't produce harmful greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Opting for a community solar project reduces your reliance on fossil fuels and supports the growth of clean renewable energy.

It's a straightforward and effective way to cut your greenhouse gas emissions in half, helping mitigate the negative effects of climate change, while also giving independence back to the average American.

Preservation of Natural Resources 

Community solar plays a role in conserving vital natural resources like land and water by reducing the need for fossil fuel power plants. The processes of extracting and transporting non-renewable resources like coal, oil, and gas can harm the environment, including disrupting wildlife habitats and polluting nearby water sources.

In simple terms, choosing community solar can prevent the burning of 8,415 pounds of coal.

Improved Air Quality

Traditional fossil fuel power plants release harmful pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which can degrade air quality and harm human health. Solar energy, in contrast, doesn't emit any pollutants, contributing to better air quality.

In fact, by opting for community solar, you can help reduce emergency room visits for respiratory issues by 6%.a

Accessible Clean Energy 

Community solar makes clean energy accessible and affordable for everyone, regardless of their housing situation or financial means. Homeowners who can't install solar panels on their roofs, like apartment dwellers or those with shaded roofs, can still benefit from solar energy.

Even businesses that want to support renewable energy but lack the resources for a large-scale installation can participate in community solar. 

By choosing community solar over traditional fossil fuels, anyone can contribute to a more sustainable future for all.



Solar carport structures are a game-changing solution that combines the benefits of solar panels with the practicality of covered parking, offering an innovative way to utilize existing spaces while reaping long-term savings. Let's explore the ins and outs of solar carport structures, their benefits, costs, and how to choose the right design and installation partner.

Key Takeaways

Understanding Solar Carport Structures

Referred to as solar canopies sometimes, solar carports serve a dual purpose: providing shade for parked vehicles while generating electricity through their photovoltaic panels. This means that while your car stays cool and protected from the harsh Florida sun, the solar panels are hard at work converting sunlight into electrical energy.

Solar carports operate similarly to ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) systems, with the racking structure attached to the ground. The solar capacity of a carport depends on the number and efficiency of the solar panels installed.

What sets solar carports apart from traditional solar installations is that they stand alone and serve as a shelter for vehicles while producing energy. Designing and installing solar carports require both electrical and computer engineering expertise to ensure optimal performance and safety.

Essentially, solar carports, alternatively called solar parking structures, creatively optimize parking availability while promoting a cleaner and more sustainable future.

solar carport system Solar Carport Structures

Components of a Solar Carport System

A typical solar carport system consists of several key components:

  1. Supporting structure: This creates a solar-covered parking lot for vehicles.
  2. Solar panels: These capture and convert sunlight into electrical energy to offset energy costs.
  3. Mounting system: This securely holds the solar panels in place.
  4. Tilt angles: These are adjustable to optimize the angle at which the solar panels receive sunlight.
  5. Waterproofing components: These ensure that the carport system is protected from water damage.

The components of a solar carport system include:

Solar carports, often used for charging electric vehicles, are smaller-scale versions of solar farms, generating renewable energy in a more localized setting, with solar power generated efficiently.

How Solar Carports Generate Electricity

The process of generating electricity with solar carports is simple: photovoltaic panels transform sunlight into electrical energy. A solar carport system usually consists of photovoltaic panels, mounting structures, and an inverter.

By doing so, solar carports offer efficient utilization of space, improved vehicle protection, and comfort, and help attract environmentally conscious customers.

The initial investment and installation costs can be offset by long-term savings and benefits, as well as any applicable incentives and tax credits.

Advantages of Solar Carport Installations

Given the abundance of parking spaces, solar carports hold substantial potential in the United States. They offer numerous advantages, such as effective utilization of space, increased protection and comfort for vehicles, and the ability to draw in environmentally conscious customers.

In addition to these benefits, solar carports can also contribute to a greener future by generating clean energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Efficient Use of Space

Solar carports utilize existing parking areas, optimizing space and eliminating the need for extra land. This means that businesses and homeowners can save money and resources by installing solar carports in their parking lots instead of seeking additional land for solar panel installations.

This efficient use of space is one of the main advantages of solar carports, making them an attractive option for those looking to maximize the benefits of their property.

Enhanced Vehicle Protection and Comfort

Providing shade and cooler temperatures for parked vehicles is one of the most notable benefits of solar carports. By protecting vehicles from the harsh sun, solar carports can help reduce fuel consumption and wear on vehicle components, such as paint and upholstery.

Furthermore, solar carports can provide natural cooling for parked vehicles, reducing the demand for air conditioning and, in turn, lowering energy costs.

In addition to the protective aspects, solar carports also offer improved vehicle security and the potential for electric vehicle (EV) charging capabilities. By providing a well-lit and secure parking area, solar carports can increase customer satisfaction and attract eco-conscious clientele, further enhancing the appeal of businesses that choose to invest in this green technology.

Attracting Eco-Conscious Customers

Demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility, businesses can attract environmentally conscious customers and enhance their green reputation by installing solar carports.

Solar carports can offer businesses increased energy efficiency, reduced energy costs, and a more favorable green reputation.

Well-known companies like Walmart, Target, and Costco have already implemented solar carports, showcasing their commitment to sustainable practices and setting an example for others to follow.

Solar Carport Structures

Assessing the Costs and Savings of Solar Carports

Although solar carports require an initial investment, they also yield long-term savings, benefits, and potential incentives. However, the additional costs can be offset by the numerous advantages and long-term savings that solar carports provide.

Long-term Savings and Benefits

In the form of decreased energy costs, reduced maintenance expenses, and increased property value, solar carports can yield long-term savings. By providing shade for vehicles and generating clean energy, solar carports can help lower energy bills and reduce the demand for air conditioning.

As a result, businesses and homeowners can save money on energy costs over time, making the initial investment in a solar carport more than worthwhile.

In addition to the financial savings, solar carports offer other long-term benefits such as increased vehicle protection and comfort, and the potential to attract environmentally conscious customers. These benefits can further enhance the value of your property and contribute to a greener, more sustainable future.

Incentives and Tax Credits

Incentives and tax credits are available to help offset the cost of solar carport installations. The federal solar tax credit, for example, is a 30% tax credit available for all solar projects, including solar carports, as per IRS guidelines.

By taking advantage of these incentives and tax credits, the overall cost of solar carport installations can be significantly reduced, making them an even more attractive investment.

solar tax credit Solar Carport Structures

Solar Carport Applications

Commercial and Industrial Buildings

Commercial and industrial settings can greatly benefit from solar carports by generating clean energy, reducing energy costs, and providing shaded parking for employees and customers.

Solar carports can optimize limited real estate, serve as a sustainable energy source for businesses, and even act as a distinguishing feature that sets the company apart from competitors.

This makes solar carports an attractive option for businesses looking to invest in green technology.

Educational and Community Institutions

Educational and community institutions can also utilize solar carports to generate clean energy, reduce energy costs, and provide shaded parking for students, staff, and visitors. In addition to these practical benefits, solar carports can create learning opportunities for students, promote sustainability initiatives, and potentially save low-income schools tons of money.

Choosing the Right Solar Carport Design

For a successful project, selecting the right solar carport design and installation partner is crucial. Factors to consider when choosing a design include the location, available sunlight, and desired aesthetics of the structure.

Factors to Consider in Solar Carport Design

Location, available sunlight, and desired aesthetics of the structure should be taken into consideration when designing a solar carport. These factors will affect the efficiency of the solar panels, the overall look of the carport, and the satisfaction of the end-users.

By carefully evaluating these factors, you can ensure that your solar carport investment is optimized for both functionality and visual appeal.


Solar carports present an innovative and practical solution for generating clean energy, maximizing space efficiency, and providing numerous benefits for users. From commercial and industrial buildings to educational and community institutions, solar carports are a versatile and eco-friendly investment with long-term savings and advantages. By carefully considering the design, installation partner, and potential incentives, you can make an informed decision and contribute to a more sustainable future for all.

In recent years, the concept of self-storage businesses has evolved beyond providing convenient spaces for personal belongings. Today, these innovative enterprises are embracing community solar, transforming their properties into large-scale systems that benefit both the environment and other businesses that may not have the space to install solar on-site. 

Some facilities install solar on-site and offer subscription options to additional subscribers, fostering the concept of community solar/PPAs. By harnessing solar energy, these businesses not only offset their own costs but also generate revenue for themselves. This approach facilitates a sustainable future while promoting economic growth.

These solar projects show that businesses are changing how they view their impact on the environment and their communities. They're not just storage places anymore; they're examples of clean energy, lighting the way to a greener future.

Community Solar Power for Businesses and Communities

Traditionally, self-storage businesses primarily served as energy generators for their own operations. However, forward-thinking entrepreneurs have recognized the potential for their properties to generate renewable energy for the wider community. 

The concept of self-storage businesses investing in community solar extends beyond their immediate needs; it has the potential to create a ripple effect of positive change. 

With the installation of large-scale solar systems, these businesses are transforming themselves into powerhouses of clean energy production, effectively becoming energy providers for their communities. 

This transformation isn't limited to the self-storage industry alone; it sets an inspiring precedent for businesses across various sectors. By investing in renewable energy infrastructure, a single business can act as a catalyst for a wider shift towards sustainability. 

It's an innovative approach that fosters economic growth, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and promotes the responsible use of our planet's resources. As self-storage facilities embrace solar energy, they pave the way for others to follow suit.

This collaborative utilization of solar energy democratizes access to clean power. It means that not only businesses but also individuals can benefit from a local, reliable, and sustainable energy source. All the while having their own stake in where, and how they generate their own power.

The positive implications ripple throughout the community, leading to reduced electricity bills, a decrease in carbon footprints, and a stronger sense of shared responsibility for the environment.

Self-Storage Community Solar Initiatives

The Self-Storage and Community Farm Integration

The idea of integrating self-storage businesses with community farms is a brilliant solution that can transform how we think about energy production and distribution. Here's how it works:

Energy Generation

Community farms are known for their vast open spaces, making them ideal for hosting renewable energy infrastructure like solar panels. Self-storage businesses can invest in renewable energy installations on these farms, effectively turning them into power generation hubs.

Energy Distribution

The energy generated by these installations doesn't have to be exclusively used by the self-storage facilities. Instead, it can be connected to the local energy grid, allowing surplus energy to flow to nearby homes, businesses, and industries. This creates a decentralized energy distribution system, reducing the reliance on centralized power plants and enhancing energy resilience.

Shared Benefits

By sharing the energy generated with the community, self-storage businesses become active contributors to the local energy ecosystem. They can negotiate agreements with the local utility or energy cooperatives to receive compensation for the excess energy they supply. This additional income can offset operational costs and even provide a new revenue stream.

Environmental Benefits

The integration of renewable energy generation at community farms reduces greenhouse gas emissions, promoting sustainability and reducing the carbon footprint of self-storage businesses. It also aligns with the broader community's environmental goals.

Advantages of the Self-Storage and Community Solar


This model promotes clean and renewable energy generation, contributing to a sustainable future while reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

Community Engagement 

Such initiatives can foster community engagement, as local residents and businesses will appreciate the self-storage facilities' contributions to the community's energy needs.

Energy Resilience 

By diversifying the energy supply and reducing reliance on centralized power grids, the community becomes more resilient in the face of power outages and disruptions.

Environmental Stewardship

This approach demonstrates a commitment to environmental stewardship, which can improve a self-storage business's image and attract environmentally-conscious customers.

A Collaborative System

By investing in community solar, the potential for collaboration and resource sharing increases. Instead of individual businesses solely relying on their own energy sources, a unified system allows for a collective effort toward sustainability. 

Through this collaborative model, businesses and individuals can tap into the generated energy, further reducing their environmental impact. Pooling resources shows a sense of community, and cooperation, creating a culture of sustainability and shared responsibility.

Financial Incentives

One of the most significant advantages of self-storage businesses offering community solar to others or utilizing PPAs is the financial benefit it offers. By generating surplus energy, these businesses receive compensation in the form of a check.

This additional revenue stream helps offset the initial costs of installing renewable energy systems while contributing to the overall profitability of the business. The decision to invest in community solar not only demonstrates a commitment to sustainability but also represents a wise financial decision.

Offsetting Costs

The financial aspect of community solar should not be overlooked. Self-storage businesses can offset the costs associated with implementing renewable energy systems by capitalizing on the revenue generated through the shared energy infrastructure.

As the system becomes established and more businesses and individuals join the collective effort, the economic benefits multiply. This sustainable cycle ensures that the initial costs are recovered, and subsequent profits support the growth and maintenance of the community farm.


The integration of community solar within self-storage businesses marks a shift in sustainable practices and a revolution of democratized energy generation. By sharing the generated energy among multiple businesses and individuals, these enterprises contribute to the local economy while reducing their carbon footprint.

Through collaboration and a commitment to sustainability, self-storage businesses are redefining their roles in society and becoming key players in the transition toward a greener future. As the potential for renewable energy continues to expand, the utilization of community farms represents a win-win solution for both environmental stewardship and financial success.

Many businesses are embracing the benefits of commercial solar energy by opting for rooftop solar leasing, which offers renewable energy solutions and harnesses solar power for businesses through green energy leasing.

What is rooftop solar installation?

Rooftop solar installation involves mounting solar panels on the roof of a building to capture sunlight and convert it into electricity. It’s a popular choice for commercial buildings because it gives them the opportunity to optimize unused roof space.

leasing your rooftop space

Why should business owners consider leasing their rooftop space for solar?

Solar investments are more common than ever. With the upbringing of ESG the leading topic of conversation in the commercial space today, business owners look to solar as a way to not only aid them in reaching the carbon reduction goals but also add another revenue stream.

Business owners have the option to choose from three different pathways when pursuing a solar investment - direct ownership, third-party ownership (leasing their rooftop space), and community solar.

Third-party ownership is a smart financial move for property owners because it gives them the flexibility to skip paying the upfront investment when choosing to install on-site. Instead, the lease can be a big one-time payment or a smaller annual payment over the lease period.

What are the financial benefits of leasing versus owning solar panels?

Leasing solar panels offers several advantages.

There are no upfront costs as the company covers all expenses, allowing you to have solar panels without any initial payment. The leasing company takes care of maintenance, including repairs and upkeep during your use of the panels.

Unlike a loan, you're not required to gradually repay the cost over time, and if your energy savings exceed your monthly expenses, you end up saving money without a specific payback period.

Owning solar panels comes with certain drawbacks to consider.

The upfront cost of purchase and installation of solar panels can be substantial, which could discourage individuals because of financial limitations. Maintenance becomes your responsibility, which can add up over time.

As technology improves, your panels might become outdated, and you could miss out on efficiency improvements. Administrative tasks like permits and paperwork also fall on your shoulders.

While solar panels can enhance property value, they might not offer a full return on investment if you sell before recouping costs. Securing financing could also pose a challenge for most.

leasing your rooftop space for solar panels

How can a business assess if its rooftop is suitable for solar?

When contemplating solar panel installation for commercial buildings, several critical considerations come into play.

Ensuring the structural integrity of the building's roof is a foremost concern. If the roof is aged or damaged, it may be necessary to replace it before installing solar panels because solar panels have a lifespan of 25 to 30 years. It’s essential that your roof can support the weight of the panels for the duration of their lifespan.

Also, think about how the building looks – if it's designed in a special way or has a strange shape, it might affect where the solar panels can go.

What are the common terms and conditions of a solar lease agreement?

A Solar Panel Lease Agreement includes common terms. At the start, it states the monthly payment and lease duration. It might also cover extra costs, such as an upfront payment or early termination fees.

Next, the roles of both parties are detailed. The company handles the installation and maintenance of the solar panels while ensuring property access and panel protection fall under your responsibility.

Finally, the agreement could mention the chance to transfer the lease to a new owner during property sales. It might also discuss buying the solar panels after the lease term ends.
Here are some questions that commercial business owners ask before leasing their rooftop space.

How will my roof be impacted by the installation?

If installed correctly, a rooftop solar installation will not negatively impact a building. The main concerns that building owners have about PV systems are the potential impact PV may have on roof integrity such as business operations, building permits, and roof warranties; however, all of these concerns can be minimized or eliminated.

Will pv installation impact roof drainage?

No, a reputable solar installer will take into account the roof’s drainage system and ensure that the installation will not be negatively impacted. It is important to discuss any concerns about roof drainage with your solar installer before the installation process begins.

How are pv panels attached to the roof?

There are two primary mounting methods for PV systems on the roof of a commercial building are ballasted racking and attached racking. Ballasted racking uses heavy objects, typically concrete blocks, to secure the solar system to a flat roof.

For the attached racking solar system, the racking is mounted to the roof while the panels are securely fastened to the rack.

How will a rooftop pv system hinder a firefighter's ability to extinguish a fire?

No, your solar installer should be aware of the fire codes that need to be followed, according to the state that the building is located. Therefore, the installers will design a solar system according to those codes to ensure that there is no fire risk and that if needed, a fire can properly be extinguished without issue.
Who is responsible for the code compliance of my roof?

The solar installer will be responsible for designing and installing the PV system in line with applicable building codes under a third-party ownership agreement. The solar installer will generally collaborate with the original roof manufacturer for a specific building to ensure that the PV system is installed in a way that does not void the roof's warranty.

After the PV system is installed, the roof manufacturer will verify it to ensure that it fulfills the approved design and that the roof guarantee is still valid. Any roof damage sustained during installation is usually covered by the solar installer's workmanship warranty. Prior to installation, building owners should confirm that a solar contractor gives a proper workmanship warranty.

commercial rooftop solar lease

What is the environmental impact of commercial solar panels?

Businesses that choose to install commercial solar panels on their commercial and industrial buildings are actively incorporating solar energy into their energy sources.

This decision not only cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions but also aids the shift towards a greener economy with fewer carbon emissions. Installing solar panels on structures like self-storage facilities, hospitals, auto dealerships, and cold storage facilities not only saves money but also plays a role in fostering a cleaner environment.

Ready to empower your business with renewable energy?

Contact ESA today to explore the best solar leasing options tailored to your business.



What is a solar farm?

A solar farm is a large collection of solar panels that soak up energy from the sun and convert it into electricity. This electricity goes into the power grid to be distributed and is used by customers. These solar panels are usually mounted to the ground and can be of different sizes and shapes. At ESA, we develop the two most common types of solar farms: Community solar and Utility-Scale Solar.

What is community solar?

Community solar refers to a setup where multiple people share the benefits of a single solar energy system. Instead of each individual having solar panels on their own property, a larger solar array is installed in a central location, such as an open field.

The electricity generated by the shared solar system is then distributed to participants, also known as subscribers, either as credits on their electricity bills or as a direct energy supply, helping them save on their energy costs.

Community solar is particularly beneficial for those who can't install solar panels on their property, like renters or people with shaded roofs. It enables a group of individuals to collectively support clean energy and receive the advantages of solar power.

community solar farms

What is utility-scale solar?

Utility-scale solar refers to large solar power installations designed to generate a substantial amount of electricity. These solar installations are characterized by their significant capacity, typically ranging from several megawatts (MW) to hundreds of megawatts.

Utility-scale solar projects are usually built to supply power directly to the electrical grid, rather than for on-site consumption. They involve the installation of a vast number of solar panels over a large area of land. These projects are commonly undertaken by utility companies, energy developers, or independent power producers and contribute significantly to meeting the energy demands of regions or communities.

How does a solar farm work?

Solar farms use empty land, mostly farmland. The panels are put on this land to turn sunlight into electricity, which goes into the power grid. Depending on the type of solar farm, the local power company pays the landowner for the electricity their solar farm makes.

Solar farms follow similar rules as rooftop solar panels for businesses. The difference is that solar farms are much bigger and use a lot of land to make and sell power to the local utility companies to make money. People are still learning about the impact of solar farms on the environment.

Solar farms can have a positive impact on the decarbonization of the electric grid by helping to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. They provide clean energy, create jobs, and boost the economy in local communities. A shift away from fossil fuels can improve air quality and reduce our exposure to harmful pollutants.

Types of solar farms Two kinds of solar farms exist: Community Solar Farms and Utility-Scale Solar Farms. The key contrast between these lies in their customer groups and size.

Utility-scale solar farms also primarily benefit public utility providers, whereas community solar farms aim at businesses, homeowners, and renters. A Utility-scale solar design is also much larger than a community solar farm design.

Below is a comparison table that compares community solar farms with utility-scale solar farms.

Community Solar FarmUtility Scale Solar Farm
Electricity is directly offered to customers to purchase.Electricity is directly sold to utility companies.
Size ranges between 10-20 acres of land.Size can be up to 3,000+ acres.
Can typically generate up to 5 MW of energyCan typically generate up to 50MW of energy
starting a solar farm

Benefits of solar farms

Solar farms make safe and locally sourced energy. They offer multiple advantages for landowners who are looking to turn their land into a solar farm.

How much land do you need for a solar farm?

Community Solar Farm

A community solar farm typically demands 10-20 acres to operate efficiently. These farms are designed to serve the energy needs of a local community or group of participants.

The exact amount of land required for a community solar farm varies depending on the size of the farm and the efficiency of the solar panels. The ideal geographic conditions for a solar farm include:

Solar farms can be built in a variety of locations, but they are most commonly found in areas with abundant sunlight. The land for a solar farm should be flat and open, with good access to the electrical grid. Some community solar farms benefiting more urban areas can be built on rooftops or in parking lots.

Utility-Scale Solar Farm

On the other hand, a Utility-Scale solar farm necessitates a more substantial land area, typically around 30-40 acres or more. These large-scale installations are optimized for generating significant amounts of electricity that can be fed into the broader power grid.

It's important to note that the required land area can vary based on factors such as the efficiency of the solar panels, the local climate, and the energy demands of the region.

utility scale solar farms

How do solar farms make money?

Solar farms make money by producing energy for the grid. Energy companies pay businesses and landowners for the energy they provide. This arrangement benefits both sides: the solar farms contribute to the energy supply while earning the landowner income.

Solar farms can also receive government tax incentives to help offset the cost. Any extra energy can be sold back to the grid when more is produced than needed. This helps both big companies and landowners earn money while supporting clean energy.

Developing solar farms projects is a multi-year process, and landowners can make money by leasing their land to companies like ESA throughout this process.

How much does a solar farm cost?

Solar farm installation costs typically range from $0.89 to $1.01 per watt. For a solar farm generating 1 megawatt (MW) of electricity, the installation expense would fall within the span of $890,000 to $1.01 million.

However, these costs can vary based on factors such as location, equipment quality, and installation complexity. Despite the initial investment, solar farms stand to deliver attractive returns over time, thanks to the revenue generated from electricity sales and potential incentives.

How long does it take to build a solar farm?

The duration of constructing a solar farm varies based on project size and workforce. Generally, a solar farm can be fully built in a matter of months. However, the process of selecting a site and obtaining permits is a lot more complicated. This phase can require 3 to 5 years to finalize all the essential agreements and authorizations for a solar farm.

Once construction is finished and the solar farm is operational, its maintenance demands are minimal, typically necessitating servicing around 3 to 4 times annually. Most solar farms can produce electricity for 2 to 3 decades.

what is a solar farm

How to start a solar farm?

Starting your own solar farm on your land is a smart choice. It helps promote clean energy and provides affordable power to communities. Even if you can't build or manage it yourself, you can lease your land for a solar farm, still supporting the environment while making money. This is the preferred method of starting a solar farm. Landowners who have leased their land to solar developers enjoy a steady recurring income without any of the hard work that comes with running a farming operation. It’s all possible with the power of the sun.

Solar energy is no longer just a buzzword like how it was with residential solar panels; it’s now a reality for businesses across the globe. As we move towards a more sustainable future, understanding the potential of commercial solar development is crucial for companies of all sizes.

In this blog post, we will delve into the importance of commercial solar, the different types of installations, key players, permitting processes, and the incentives available. By the end, you'll know all the benefits of this exciting renewable energy source.

The Importance of Commercial Solar

Commercial solar systems, including commercial solar panels, are an invaluable asset that can help your business save money, reduce its carbon footprint, and contribute to a more sustainable future.

With a record 19 gigawatts of solar projects installed as of June 2022, the commercial solar market is rapidly growing, and businesses are recognizing the rewards of solar energy.

Economic Benefits

Investing in commercial solar panel installation can offer a myriad of financial advantages, such as reducing or even eliminating monthly electricity bills, lowering operating costs, and taking advantage of government, tax credits, and accelerated depreciation for reduced tax liability.

Opting for a commercial solar installation can be a smart decision for businesses looking to go green and save money in the long run by installing solar panels. Commercial solar power systems generate an impressive internal rate of return (IRR) and deliver a competitive payback period.

Environmental Impact

By investing in commercial solar for their commercial and industrial buildings, businesses are making solar energy a more prominent part of the energy mix, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Commercial solar installations on buildings such as self-storage facilities, hospitals, and cold storage facilities save money and contribute to a cleaner environment.

Commercial Solar Development

Types of Commercial Solar Projects

Commercial solar can take various forms, ranging from kilowatts to megawatts, and are strategically placed on rooftops, the ground, or shade structures in parking lots or garages. These installations are designed to meet the specific energy needs of each business and maximize their energy efficiency there.

Rooftop Installations

Rooftop installations are a popular choice for businesses with large, flat roofs and minimal shading. By making the most of the available solar space, and minimizing transmission losses, rooftop installations can provide significant energy savings and environmental benefits.

Solar Carports

Solar carports offer a perfect combination of protection and clean energy for businesses. Providing shade and protection for vehicles while generating clean energy, solar carports are an ideal solution for properties with limited rooftop space.

The added benefits of shading and protection for employees’ vehicles make solar carports an attractive choice for businesses looking to invest in solar energy.

Ground-Mounted Systems

Ground-mounted systems are an ideal solution for businesses with ample land, as they can be customized to maximize energy production. These installations offer advantages such as easy access for maintenance and repairs, cooler temperatures compared to roof-mounted systems, and no concerns about roof leakage.

Key Players in Commercial Solar Development

Developing a successful commercial solar project involves collaboration among various key players, including developers, contractors, and financiers. These professionals work together to design, install, and finance solar, ensuring a seamless process from start to finish.


Developers play a crucial role in commercial solar, assessing the potential by evaluating the site, local regulations, and financial incentives available. They design the solar system to meet the project’s needs, taking into account the size, orientation, and other factors to ensure successful completion.

Developers also manage the permitting process, obtaining zoning approvals, building permits, and interconnection agreements. Their expertise is vital to the overall success of the project.


Contractors are responsible for constructing and installing solar power plants, including engineering, design, procuring equipment and materials, and managing the entire project. They work closely with engineers and commercial solar installers to ensure the project meets the highest standards of quality and efficiency.


Financiers play a vital role in commercial solar by providing the necessary project funding. They can offer direct lending or collaborate with financial intermediaries to supply the required capital. Financiers can also facilitate leasing arrangements or offer loans to cover upfront costs.

Commercial Solar Development

Navigating the Commercial Solar Permitting Process

The commercial solar permitting process is a crucial step in bringing your solar project to life. It involves navigating zoning regulations, obtaining building permits, and securing interconnection agreements with utility companies. Understanding and managing the permitting process can help ensure a smooth and successful solar project.

Zoning Regulations

Zoning regulations determine where solar installations can be built and may impose restrictions on system size or location. Understanding these regulations is essential to ensure that your solar project meets all regulatory requirements and is sustainable, protecting the environment from potential harm.

Building Permits

Building permits are essential documents issued by local governments that certify that a proposed construction project complies with all applicable building codes and other regulations. For commercial solar, essential building permits usually include an electrical permit, a construction or building permit, and a solar permit.

Interconnection Agreements

Interconnection agreements are contracts between a solar system owner and the utility company that outline the terms and conditions for connecting the solar system to the grid and selling excess energy back to the utility.

These agreements can include system size, equipment type, voltage, safety requirements, and the rate at which the utility will purchase any excess energy generated.

Maximizing Commercial Solar Incentives and Rebates

To further boost the ROI of your commercial solar project, it’s essential to maximize available incentives and rebates. These financial benefits for commercial installation come from federal, state, and utility-level programs and can help offset the upfront costs of solar installations.

By working with experienced solar contractors, you can ensure the success of your solar project and take full advantage of these incentives.

Federal Incentives

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is a game changer for businesses looking to cut costs, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and support clean energy with solar power. This law has huge implications for US clean energy projects, with $369 billion in federal incentives—the largest ever climate investment by the government. It aims to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030. 

The ITC, as a tax credit, allows your company to deduct a portion of the cost of your new solar system that you would otherwise have to pay the federal government in corporate income taxes. The IRA grants a 30% tax credit to independent energy storage installations.

Solar power projects that qualify for the full 30% tax credit can raise their tax credit by 10% by confirming that all steel, iron, or manufactured goods used in the facility were manufactured in the United States. 

State-Level Programs

State-level programs offer utility providers additional financial incentives, such as rebates, grants, or low-interest loans, to encourage commercial solar. These programs vary by state and utility companies but can provide valuable financial support for businesses looking to invest in solar energy.

Payback Period

Payback periods, or the time it takes for energy savings to cover the initial investment, can vary depending on the specific project and financial incentives. A typical payback period for commercial solar projects ranges from 3 to 10 years, providing an appealing opportunity for businesses to save money and reduce their carbon footprint.

Common Questions About Commercial Solar Development

Are commercial solar farms profitable?

Commercial solar farms can be highly profitable, with an average annual profit of $21,250 to $42,500 per acre, according to 8 billiontrees. In addition, many solar farms pay off their system within five to ten years and generate free electricity for at least 30 years thereafter.

What are the main advantages of commercial solar for businesses?

Commercial solar offers businesses numerous advantages, such as cost savings, environmental sustainability, and energy independence - making it a smart choice for any business.

Solar energy is becoming increasingly popular as businesses look for ways to reduce their energy costs and become more environmentally friendly. With the cost of solar energy dropping, businesses can now take advantage of the savings and environmental benefits that solar energy provides.


In the fight against climate change, solar energy has emerged as a key player in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating a sustainable future. As businesses strive to adopt renewable energy practices, certain companies have taken the lead in investing and embracing solar energy.

By showcasing their efforts, we hope to inspire other organizations to follow suit and contribute to a greener, more sustainable workplace.


Amazon, as the world's largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, is leading the charge in transitioning to clean energy and driving down emissions. They have set an ambitious goal of powering their operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025, surpassing their initial target by five years.

In 2021, Amazon achieved an impressive milestone of reaching 85% renewable energy across their business and announced renewable energy projects in 18 countries. Their efforts include the launch of solar projects in South Africa and the United Arab Emirates, as well as new projects in Singapore, Japan, Australia, and China.

Amazon has made a dedicated effort to reduce carbon emissions in its delivery fleet by introducing over 5,000 specially designed electric delivery vans throughout the United States. In the United States, Rivian's vans, used by Amazon, have successfully transported over 150 million packages to customers.

Through their global investments in renewable energy, Amazon is actively decarbonizing their operations and serving as a shining example for sustainable practices.

Companies Investing in Solar Energy

META Platforms, Inc.:

META Platforms, Inc. is a prominent corporate buyer of renewable energy, actively leading the transition to clean energy in its communities by selecting projects connected to its data centers' electricity grids.

With contracts in place for over 9,000 megawatts (MW) of solar and wind energy worldwide, including more than 5,500 MW of new renewable energy already in operation, META is making a significant impact.

By integrating energy storage into the grid, they’re reducing carbon emissions and enabling the seamless integration of renewable energy.

Due to the rise of remote work and the expansion of cloud-based technologies, the demand for data centers has experienced a significant surge in recent years. This growth means additional structures, land, cooling systems, and electricity to sustain the continuous operation of the physical buildings.

The need for data centers will only intensify with further technological advancements meaning that society is still in the early stages of this development. Solar power systems can provide a data center with a way to offset operational costs and reduce environmental impacts.

META has added 50 MW of battery storage alongside 240 MW of solar energy near its Los Lunas data center, showcasing their commitment to sustainable practices.

With a total of 130 MW of battery energy storage deployed in New Mexico, Kentucky, and Mississippi, they remain dedicated to driving the transition to renewable energy for a greener future.

Companies Investing in Solar Energy


Apple has made significant strides in their Supplier Clean Energy Program, with over 40 manufacturing partners joining in the past year to support the decarbonization of Apple-related operations and the sourcing of 100% renewable electricity.

Through the program, Apple collaborates closely with suppliers, offering resources and training through their Clean Energy Academy to help them achieve their renewable energy commitments.

The remarkable progress towards their 2030 carbon neutrality goal demonstrates Apple's global efforts to drive innovation and resilience. With a total of 13.7 gigawatts of operational renewable energy across their global supply chain, Apple and their suppliers collectively avoided 17.4 million metric tons of carbon emissions in 2021, equivalent to removing nearly 3.8 million cars from the road.

Apple also powers all corporate offices, data centers, and retail stores with approximately 1.5 gigawatts of renewable electricity across 44 countries, while investing in solar projects o address supply chain emissions.

The Supplier Clean Energy Program has enabled significant progress among U.S. manufacturing partners, with 27 U.S. suppliers achieving 100% renewable electricity. The program has facilitated joint investments in over 650 megawatts of renewable electricity capacity, emphasizing Apple's commitment to driving scalable action and promoting a sustainable future.


Kathleen McLaughlin, Chief Sustainability Officer of Walmart Inc., expressed the company's ongoing commitment to climate action, highlighting their goal of achieving 100% renewable energy globally by 2035.

Ms. McLaughlin emphasized the importance of collective action in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the impacts of climate change. She commended the growing number of companies embracing solar energy and taking steps towards a renewable future.

In alignment with their sustainability objectives, Walmart also unveiled plans to power its facilities worldwide using 100% renewable energy by 2035, while targeting zero emissions across its global operations by 2040.

Providing perspective on their solar initiatives, it is noteworthy that each week over 7.2 million people, equivalent to 2.2% of the U.S. population, shop at a Walmart store with a solar installation, exemplifying the scale and impact of their renewable energy efforts.


A global leader in the solar industry has partnered with Microsoft Corp., to help the technology company in achieving carbon negativity by 2030. Microsoft wants to establish a strong supply chain for new renewable electricity capacity.

This collaboration aims to meet the demand for over 2.5 gigawatts of solar panels and related services, which can power more than 400,000 homes.

Microsoft, in its pursuit of sourcing 100% renewable energy to cover its electricity consumption by 2025, supports domestic production of green energy equipment and endorses solar solutions.

This partnership marks a significant step in diversifying the global energy supply chain, driving the development of reliable and sustainable energy networks, and reducing carbon emissions.

By working together, these companies exemplify the importance of collective efforts to deliver a cleaner, greener future and combat climate change on a global scale.


Target demonstrates its commitment to sustainability and community support by embracing renewable energy solutions and striving for net zero greenhouse gas emissions. With a focus on energy-efficient and sustainable buildings, Target achieved its goal of equipping 500 locations with rooftop solar panels by 2020.

Now, the company aims to source 100% of its electricity from renewable sources for its U.S. stores and distribution centers.

Target stores utilizing solar power generate between 15% and 60% of their electricity from solar energy. Additionally, through new contracts with solar projects, Target is poised to meet over 50% of its electricity needs with renewable energy sources.

These endeavors underline Target's commitment to renewable energy and their ongoing efforts to expand their portfolio of offsite solar, ensuring the realization of their sustainability goals.

The top 6 companies investing in solar energy - META Platforms, Amazon, Apple, Walmart, Microsoft, and Target - are pioneers in adopting renewable energy practices. Their commitment to solar power installations, greenhouse gas reduction goals, and carbon neutrality is not only commendable but also essential for a sustainable future.

We encourage other companies to prioritize and invest in solar energy, fostering a greener and more sustainable environment for generations to come. Together, we can lead the way toward a brighter future.

Companies Investing in Solar Energy

Commercial Solar For Small/Medium Businesses:

Achieving sustainability in the workplace is a challenge for the majority of businesses. Unlike large corporations, small and medium-sized businesses often lack the necessary resources, expertise, and financial capabilities to thoroughly evaluate the potential benefits of solar applications.

Factors such as limited budgets, lack of in-house technical knowledge, and the absence of dedicated sustainability departments make it difficult for these businesses to navigate the complexities of solar investment.

In contrast, for large companies, evaluating and implementing solar power systems is typically less of a challenge. These huge corporations often possess the financial means to become a sustainable business, along with access to specialized teams or consultants who can analyze the potential return on investment and assess the technical requirements.

Larger organizations may have sustainability initiatives in place, with dedicated departments focused on exploring renewable energy options and managing the process effectively. The resources and capabilities available to these companies streamline the evaluation process and facilitate the adoption of solar energy.

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