The untapped solar power potential of big box stores

US big-box stores can provide some 109,000 acres of solar-panel-ready rooftop, enough to produce more than 50m MW hours of electricity a year.

Solar energy offers a cheap, renewable source of electricity that could reduce and, eventually, eliminate our need for greenhouse gas-emitting power generation plants. But solar farms as they are currently envisioned come at a cost: acres and acres of land that could otherwise be used for food production or rewilding, creating biodiverse wildernesses that preserve nature and function as carbon sinks. But why choose between saving biodiversity and stopping global warming when a third option exists, one (and sometimes two) floors up?

The United States’ obsession with Big Box stores—the Walmarts, Targets, Ikeas, and Home Depots that are as much consumption-as-entertainment as bulk buying opportunities—provides some 109,000 acres of prime, solar-panel-ready rooftop real estate, according to a 2016 calculation by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. That’s enough to produce more than 50 million megawatt hours of electricity a year—and power 5.2 million households—assuming 477 megawatt hours per year, per acre for utility scale photovoltaics.

Click here to read the full article
Source: TIME

If you have any questions or thoughts about the topic, feel free to contact us here or leave a comment below.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *