Macy’s Goes SunPower Solar

Macy’s, Inc. has a long-standing commitment to sustainability that began more than a decade ago. As one of the nation’s premier omnichannel retailers, with a vast workforce and customer base, Macy’s has a significant opportunity to make a meaningful difference in improving the environment. The company sets new sustainability targets regularly which it consistently achieves. In 2012, Macy’s again increased its commitment with the following goals:

• Reduce energy use 10% on a kWh-per-square-foot basis from 2012 to 2015 (having already reduced energy 35% since 2002)

• Install an additional 25 percent to 35 percent of solar power systems over 2012 levels


Today, Macy’s, Inc. has achieved these goals and more. The organization continues to push the envelope on energy efficiency through the widespread use of LED lighting and energy management improvements. And since 2007, Macy’s has installed large, rooftop solar systems on 78 stores and distribution centers in eight states. SunPower has been a long-standing partner in this effort, having installed 50 sites to date, with another 21 sites planned. Together, Macy’s and SunPower continue to identify opportunities around the country where solar installations make the most economic sense and where they best support the company’s growing sustainability goals.


As of the end of 2016, the projected annual output of Macy’s SunPower systems will reach nearly 55,000 MWh, the majority of which is ultimately sold to others.

More than 150 years of doing well by doing good.

Macy’s, Inc. believes that contributing to a more sustainable environment is good business practice and the right thing to do for future generations. The organization also believes in taking a comprehensive approach to sustainability and renewability with customers, associates and vendor partners.

This belief in responsible corporate citizenship and Macy’s commitment to sustainability is exemplified by the company’s simple yet resolute sustainability theme, “Green Living.” For Macy’s, Green Living isn’t just about reducing the company’s impact on the environment; it’s about living responsibly, both environmentally and socially. It’s an all-encompassing commitment that Macy’s, as a major corporation, takes very seriously.

Founded in 1858, Macy’s is one of the nation’s premier omnichannel retailers with a large, diverse workforce and customer base. The company has made a public pledge to reduce the use of scarce resources, eliminate wasteful behaviors, introduce an eco-friendly solution or product whenever possible to meet the needs and expectations of the customer, and will strive to reduce its overall impact on the environment. Macy’s regularly sets, achieves and refreshes sustainability goals to diminish its environmental impact and reduce overall energy use.

Macy’s is working to achieve sustainability goals on multiple fronts, from encouraging the use of public transportation among associates to optimizing facility performance through energy efficiency improvements across its stores.

Chief among Macy’s sustainability efforts is a major commitment to generating solar energy which is ultimately sold to others, where it can make a positive impact on the environment, as well as the bottom line.

Always looking for a brighter, bolder solution.

After a few small pilot solar projects in New Jersey, Macy’s turned to solar in a big way in California in 2007 when the company took advantage of the state-funded California Self-Generation Program, which offered incentives for companies using solar power. Since then the company has installed solar in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York. Many of these systems have been purchased outright, but most were negotiated as Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with little to no upfront investment, and operations and maintenance provided by SunPower.

“SunPower has been a good partner to Macy’s in helping to develop solar across our facility portfolio,” notes Chuck Abt, Senior Vice President of Operations, Macy’s, Inc. “The SunPower team has been instrumental in identifying those opportunities across the country where it makes economic sense to develop solar, and has worked closely with Macy’s to develop a comprehensive strategy to achieve our sustainability goals.”

SunPower high-efficiency systems are ideal for maximizing the roof space of Macy’s retail locations. Macy’s newest solar sites include a 1-megawatt (MW) SunPower Helix rooftop system in Bowie, MD, and an 879-kilowatt (kW) system in Sacramento—both designed and installed by SunPower.

“The SunPower® Helix™ Roof product delivers value through innovation, benefiting customers with an exclusive combination of the most efficient solar panels installed at world-record speed,” said Howard Wenger, SunPower President, Business Units. “We congratulate Macy’s for its visionary leadership over the last decade, prioritizing sustainability to serve its business and the communities in which it operates.” Macy’s has plans to install solar in three additional states with SunPower in 2016. Together, Macy’s and SunPower are also embarking on a storage pilot project at three stores in San Diego.

Celebrating the environment every day.

Most people know Macy’s for its world-renowned shopping experience and signature events such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Fourth of July Fireworks, and annual Flower Shows, but Macy’s has also been recognized for its leadership in solar energy. Both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Solar Energy Industries Association have consistently ranked Macy’s as one of the top companies for generating the most green electricity on-site.2* These achievements serve as a point of pride for associates, customers and vendor partners. Macy’s and SunPower have benefited from a long-standing, successful relationship that proves that large global retailers can make solid, bottom-line business decisions that also provide a measurable and lasting impact on the environment.

Macy’s has made tremendous progress in reducing its environmental impact, including the following achievements:

• Reduced electricity consumption by more than 35 percent in Macy’s stores from 2002 to 2012.

• Installed solar arrays on 78 Macy’s, Inc. facilities as of year-end 2015, with plans for additional systems in 2016.

• Installed a 600 kW Bloom Energy server (a solid oxide fuel cell) that replaces most of the grid energy at the company’s Cheshire, CT, fulfillment center.

• More than doubled its use of sustainable building materials in 2014 over 2013 levels.

• Increased to 48.5 million the number of miles driven by sustainable modes of transportation including rail, vendor-to-distribution center bypass, Empty Miles and backhaul.

• Added more than 1.1 million energy-saving LED lamps in about 800 Macy’s stores, while continually testing new installations.


While the City of Industry installation was underway, negotiations were in progress for a project at a Macy’s fulfillment facility in Arizona that upon its completion in April 2011, was the largest solar power system on a single rooftop in the country. Because of SunPower’s exclusive agreement with Arizona Public Service, Macy’s was able to take advantage of the best possible financing structure to ensure a strong project ROI. Thanks to a combination of SunPower T5, T10 and PowerGuard solar products, the 3.4 megawatt system is able to deliver an impressive 70 percent of the 600,000 square-foot facility’s electricity demand.


It all started in the fall of 2006 when Macy’s executives took advantage of the state-funded California Self-Generation Program, which offered incentives to companies using solar power. Since then, Macy’s has installed over 12 megawatts of SunPower solar across California, Hawaii and Arizona. On 30 store rooftops, solar panels have helped the retail giant reduce these sites’ electrical consumption from the grid by nearly half. So when Macy’s decided to add solar power to its online fulfillment center in Goodyear, AZ, as well as a distribution center in City of Industry, CA, they again turned to SunPower. The systems now generate the equivalent of 50-70 percent of the electricity needed to power the two facilities, providing significant cost savings to the company while also benefiting the environment with clean energy.


As part of its longstanding corporate sustainability initiatives, Macy’s has committed to supplying an additional 10 to 25 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2013. After tracking the environmental and financial benefits of their SunPower solar power systems for several years, Macy’s executives decided to increase their investment in solar. “We are convinced that solar installations are an important part of our overall sustainability program,” said Bill Lyon, vice-president of energy management at Macy’s. And, with the help of a Power Purchase Agreement through SunPower, Macy’s has been able to finance more than 19 of the facility projects with zero up-front cost.


In a continued effort to reach their financial and sustainability goals, Macy’s began evaluating options for a solar project at their City of Industry distribution center in California. As the company’s first non-retail installation, this project represented a major step in Macy’s growing commitment to sustainability. Through their evaluation process, they found that SunPower offered the proven track record, financial know-how and efficient product mix needed to realize yet another Macy’s solar project.