A recent report from the Solar Energy Industries Association ranks two Las Vegas-based companies among the top in the country for corporate solar use.
The report, released Thursday, ranked data center company Switch as fifth out of 10 for the top corporate solar users. Additionally, in a separate listing that looked at projects completed in 2018, Wynn Resorts Ltd. was ranked ninth out of 25 for the top corporate solar installations.
The companies’ use of off-site solar projects propelled them to the top, SEIA director of research Shawn Rumery said. Of the 7 gigawatts tracked in the report, 1.5 were from off-site projects.
“It’s a quickly growing portion of the segment,” Rumery said. “It’s really great for the market, for solar electricity.”
Erik Hansen, Wynn’s chief sustainability officer, told the Review-Journal that solar integration is a “key component” of the company’s global energy strategy and said Wynn plans to continue investing in technologies like solar as the company grows.
Hansen said the use of solar not only pleases customers who “understand the importance of a corporation’s commitment to sustainable operations” but also provides a long-term solution that curbs operational costs.
“Nevada’s most abundant resource comes directly from the sun,” he said via email. “Harnessing that resource and utilizing it for the benefit of our resorts is a natural evolution for us.”
This was the first Solar Means Business report to include Switch. Rumery said a change in the report’s data collection methods allowed Switch to compete in the rankings; previous versions of the report tracked only on-site projects.
According to the report, solar systems can be located on site and provide electricity to the facility directly or located off-site and offset electricity costs for a company through financial relationships like virtual net metering.
Switch’s off-site solar project, which was commissioned in 2017 and has provided 179 megawatts of solar energy to date, bumped it toward the top of this year’s list.
Switch spokesman Adam Kramer said the company is committed to being powered by 100 percent local, clean energy and believes that Nevada will play an “even larger role” in leading the nation in solar usage.
“We expect to remain among the list of companies most active and effective in developing renewable technology and encouraging its use,” Kramer said via email.
According to the SEIA report, rapid growth in corporate off-site and community solar is expected to continue, with price declines for solar and storage opening market opportunities for more companies.
U.S. companies secured 4 gigawatts worth of new off-site solar projects in the past 18 months, the report said.
“Corporate solar deployment is 23 times larger today than it was a decade ago,” according to the report.
Rumery said it’s no surprise more companies are turning toward solar.
“It’s cheaper and predictable energy. They know what their electricity prices will be,” he said. “Solar tends to meet their needs very, very well.”
Top 10 ranking for corporate solar adoption, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association:
7. Kaiser Permanente
10. Fifth Third Bank