Solar, wind and water – part 1

The Ritcey Report

Written by Lynn Healy-Goulet
April 26, 2018

Part 1 of a 3-part investigation

Last month I posted a blog entitled Powering your portfolio with solar, wind and water. The response was immediate and widespread. You want to know more. Fair enough. So I have decided to expand on the subject in more detail giving each issue – solar, wind and water – a dedicated blog.

Part 1: Solar investments

As recently as April 19, 2018, the U.S. based Solar Energy Industries Association1 (SEIA) issued a report stating:

  1. Large corporations are leading America’s surge in solar deployment.
  2. America’s top companies are investing in solar in record amounts.

The SEIA report makes for fascinating reading, especially since as we all know, solar energy – together with wind and water – represent clear, present and durable long term alternatives to non-renewable energy sources.

This year’s report, the most positive about the solar industry’s potential includes:

  1. Data from over 4,000 companies.
  2. Totalling more than 2.5 gigawatts of solar capacity.
  3. Encompassing approximately 7,400 solar projects.

Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the SEIA was quoted as saying in the report: ‘To leading companies across America, deploying solar is a common-sense business decision. Large corporations have found that going solar not only benefits the environment, but also their bottom-line, satisfying both shareholders and customers alike.’

Target earns top spot

Target, the North American retailer, is just one of several high profile businesses committed to solar. In 2017 alone, Target added more than 40 megawatts (MW) of solar. Target now has 204 MW of installed solar capacity. Said John Leisen, vice president, Property Management: ‘Target’s goal to install rooftop solar panels on 500 buildings by 2020.’

Walmart among other top ten solar companies

Walmart, Apple, Kohl’s, Costco Wholesale, GGP, IKEA, Macy’s and Amazon. These are a sampling of the blue chip businesses turning to solar in a major way.

According to Mark Vanderhelm, vice president of energy for Walmart, Inc.: ‘Solar is a vital component of Walmart’s expanding renewable energy portfolio. As one of the leading U.S. companies for solar energy installations and capacity, Walmart plans to continue our efforts on seeking to find renewable energy projects that are right for our customers, our business and the environment.’

Prologis a leader, too

Prologis is the world’s largest owner and operator of logistics real estate. The company has 175 MW of solar generating capacity in its global property portfolio, with a stated goal of 200 MW by 2020. Matt Singleton, senior vice president, Global Energy, Prologis said: ‘Our holistic approach to sustainability is a core component of our long-term business strategy, helping deliver greater value for our customers and stronger returns for our shareholders.’

Key solar factoids

  1. Every week 9.6 million people visit a solar-powered Walmart store.
  2. More than 19,300 people work at a solar-powered Kohl’s.
  3. Apple’s solar facilities produce enough electricity annually to fully charge more than 44 million iPhone’s every day for an entire year.


As I wrote in my earlier blog on solar, while the long-term appeal of the category is unmatched:

  1. It’s perhaps unwise to buy individual stocks.
  2. The best way to play solar is to build a position using exchange traded funds (ETFs). Go to ETF.com2, one of the world’s leading authorities on exchange-traded funds, for further insight on solar ETFs.
  3. The Motley Fool3 also offers a solid introduction to this investment category.

I will be happy to offer you one-on-one advice about developing a solid investment strategy aimed at this exciting emerging investment category. Please don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss its exceptional upside potential.

Dave Ritcey, The Ritcey Team, Scotia Wealth Management