Home Depot, Tesla, and GE: The Acceleration of a Trend?
Sometimes, it takes competitive pressure to push an entire industry to change its operating paradigms. That may have just happened to some degree with a major partnership between three complimentary companies.
Placing solar panels on top of large-footprint facilities is not a new concept – for goodness sakes it’s not. But, up and until this point, many companies have held off because of the extra costs to install and use solar panels – for various reasons. But, with Home Depot agreeing to outfit at least 50 of its stores with solar collectors, it will be on its way to hitting its goal of producing 135 MW of renewable energy by 2020.
If HD is able to reduce its operating costs through these systems, we would anticipate that the competitive pressure that mounts for other competitors will also build. It could be this push that gets far more implementations of solar panel technologies across the country, in other retailers and industries.
Tesla’s battery storage systems will help ensure an ample supply of energy regardless of weather conditions.
There’s some questions about the full impact of the application (just some debate about the data and estimates on its output). But, Home Depot believes that it can cut its demand for electricity by about 33% in each store, which is enough to power about 2,300 homes for a year.
Again, it isn’t necessarily this set of technologies or the concept of rooftop solar power that’s interesting. It’s the competitive pressure and the push that will be created in the retail sector for others to follow – if they can find the money to do it!