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Solar panels atop Chicago's Shedd Aquarium.
Solar panels atop Chicago's Shedd Aquarium.

Big Biz Finds it Easier to Buy Renewables

Major corporations are in the forefront of solar and wind deployments, though some smaller outfits are welcoming faster investment paybacks.

The largest corporations readily embrace clean energy, while smaller enterprises find it a struggle to plug into solar and wind power, according to the Wall Street Journal.

As a result, the pace of deployments of renewables is flattening.

The newspaper reported: “Small businesses’ use of rooftop solar panels is stagnating ‘primarily due to the difficulty in obtaining financing,’ even though installation costs are down 62 percent since 2012, the Solar Energy Industries Association said in a report.”

Large corporations that have gone green, such as Wal-Mart, Facebook and General Motors are helping smaller businesses to rely more on renewable energy, the newspaper reported.

Some entrants into the renewables sector are pooling efforts.

“Smaller power buyers can also team up to gain more clout in the market. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology joined a nearby hospital and a real-estate firm in October to buy power from a new 650-acre solar farm in North Carolina. Their combined power needs—60 megawatts—were enough to attract 41 proposals from developers. That helped the university negotiate a price about 20% lower than it could have on its own, says Joe Higgins, MIT’s director of infrastructure business operations,” the Journal reported.

The article states that falling prices are encouraging smaller companies to invest in renewable power as the payback time for the investment shrinks.

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