Corporations are rapidly investing in solar energy and other renewable sources to reduce carbon footprint and achieve stable, predictable energy costs for the long-term. While many corporations have turned to the purchase of renewable energy credits or off-site assets, some have moved forward with a more direct approach of powering their operations with on-site solar.
Black Bear Energy, a Colorado-based company that operates as a buyer’s representative for renewables and energy efficiency services, released an inaugural quarterly report that tracks the nation’s largest procurers of on-site solar in the real estate asset ownership industry.
Topping the list was Prologis, a real estate and supply chain logistics company. It has procured over 217 MW of on-site solar as of the report date. Prologis also recently released a request for quotes for 1 GW of solar in California. It was followed by Lineage Logistics, procuring 108 MW, and Blackstone, with over 98 MW.
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“REITs and managers own large portfolios of buildings, parking garages and parking lots that can host solar in areas where distributed renewables are needed most – the distribution level grid where electricity demand is high,” said Victoria Stulgis, senior vice president of client operations, Black Bear Energy.
Among the different industry types, Prologis ranked first for the industrial sector. Brookfield Properties Retail ranked first among retailers (59.5 MW), Kilroy topped the corporate offices sector (6.1 MW) and Avalon Bay Communities topped the multifamily category (8.3 MW).
The methodology for the report includes recording publicly announced or are accessible through the public domain, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) Solar Means Business 2022 report, and deals facilitated by Black Bear Energy. Qualified projects are hosted on a real estate asset’s roof, parking lot, parking garage or land – regardless of if the electricity is used onsite or offsite. Projects are by the date of publishing of the report and located in the United States.
With the built environment responsible for close to 40% of global carbon emissions, the installation of onsite renewables plays a critical role in reducing emissions and providing clean, local energy to businesses and communities, said Black Bear Energy, a Legence Company.
“It is the real estate owners and managers that are showcased on these leaderboards that have helped set a precedent and can help accelerate the energy transition through onsite solar installations that bring green energy to local communities,” said Jeff Sprau, chief executive officer, Legence.
Other major procurers of on-site solar include Hartz Mountain Industries (50 MW), STAG (25.5 MW), Iron Mountain (14.3 MW), and Simon Property Group (12.5 MW).
When including off-site solar investment, cumulative corporate solar procurement has doubled between 2019 and late 2022. Combined, corporations in the United States have invested in 19 GW of on-site and off-site solar. SEIA said that about 55% of corporate solar investment is on off-site projects.
“The real estate industry has a tremendous opportunity to make an impact in the energy transition,” said Stulgis. “By showcasing these companies, we hope to inspire others to follow suit and accelerate the transition to a decarbonized future.”
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