Right On Time: Solar In The Workplace

By Peggy Hammond    June 29, 2018

Amazing things happen when big businesses devote their attention and effort to getting their power from renewable sources.  ISS celebrates the major accomplishments of Google and Apple, both of which recently reached their targets of being wholly powered by renewable energy.  Many businesses, both big and small, are pursuing goals to get their electricity through renewables.

 Google announced in early April that its review of the company’s 2017 energy consumption revealed they had obtained the mark of 100% of their power coming from renewable sources.  They achieved 57% in 2016, and 2017 saw them cross the finish line to reach their goal.  Using both wind and solar to supply their needs, they’ve purchased a total of 3GW of sustainable power.

No matter the location throughout 43 countries, all Apple facilities, including retail stores, are now powered by renewable energy.  This announcement came in early April as well.  In addition to the company’s currently operational renewable projects totaling 626MW, Apple has 15 projects in the construction phase.  After they are completed, Apple’s clean energy total capacity will be 1.4GW.

Microsoft is making gains as a greener company.  This spring, Microsoft purchased 315MW of solar energy from two projects in Virginia, announcing the deal as the biggest corporate purchase of solar in the U.S.  Microsoft also entered into its first solar energy agreement in India, one that will power its Bangalore office building.  They will purchase from Atria Power 3MW of solar energy, which is expected to supply 80% of the new building’s electricity needs.  Once the Bangalore site is finished, Microsoft will have close to 900MW in renewable energy projects globally.  By the end of 2018, Microsoft hopes wind, solar and hydropower will provide 50% of its global power needs.

Target continues to choose solar as their renewable energy source, with installations topping 40MW in 2017.  In 2016 and 2017, Target outpaced other U.S. corporations in solar installations. Overall, they have installed 205.03MW.

It sets a commendable example of good stewardship when high profile companies turn to renewable energy, but it’s equally worthy of mention when companies with names and products that might be outside mainstream vocabulary turn to solar.  Maghreb Industries is a confectionery company in Morocco that produces and exports chewing gum in addition to mint and fruit flavored sweets; as of April, it now gets 50% of its energy from solar, prompting other local companies to ask them for advice on using renewables.

ISS understands each solar project makes a difference for our future, and we are proud of our work developing custom designed utility-scale solar farms.  For more information on opportunities to work with us, please see our website at www.innovativesolarsystemsllc.com or call our office at 828-424-7884.