Case study: - Smart Energy Decisions

Case study: Whole Foods Market's rapid solar rollout

Type: Research Study
Categories: Commercial, Distributed Generation, Solar, Sourcing Renewables
Date Published: 9/12/2016
Source: Retail Industry Leaders Association
Primary Topic: Distributed Generation

A new analysis by the Retail Industry Leaders Association, or RILA, and The Solar Foundation found that Whole Foods Market's approach to rooftop solar installations in multiple facilities could be a valuable model for other retailers to consider.

This analysis outlines how the grocer will complete solar installations at multiple facilities within two years. Whole Foods Market recently announced a plan to retrofit approximately 100 facilities with rooftop solar by 2017, in addition to the 40 solar installations already completed by the end of 2015, drawing on lessons learned from its ad hoc installations to align landlord and tenant interests and create a portfolio approach to realize economies of scale. 

To accomplish this solar rollout expeditiously, Whole Foods Market will need to overcome several challenges, the analysis explains. First, negotiating separate arrangements with landlords for each unique solar project can be time-consuming and expensive. Second, roof quality can be a concern, especially in older buildings. Finally, the costs of financing each project can be inconsistent and uncertain.  

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