Duke Realty to Become NJ’s Largest Community Solar Host
National logistics property REIT, Duke Realty will host solar projects across one million square feet of its property’s rooftops. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has selected four of the REIT’s NJ industrial sites to implement the projects.
Totaling 11.07 megawatts, the projects serve as the first of 77.61 megawatts of solar power awarded in the first year of NJBPU’s three-year Community Solar Energy Pilot Program.
Upon completion, the combined projects will make Duke Realty the largest community solar project host in the state; delivering more than 250 million kilowatt hours of renewable electricity to the community throughout the next 20 years.
For the projects, the REIT will partner with NJ-based, commercial and industrial solar integration developer, Solar Landscape. Solar Landscape will own and operate the projects.
The projects aim to provide local homeowners, renters and businesses with discounted, clean energy, without the cost of adding solar panels to their own properties.
“We are pleased to have been selected as a major participant in the first round of NJ community solar,” said Megan Basore, Duke Realty’s VP of corporate responsibility. “For nearly 50 years, Duke Realty has been one of the most prolific developers of logistics space in the US, and we are proud to further our commitment to sustainable buildings with these projects in the NJ market.”
“The industrial real estate market – with its massive, often unencumbered rooftop spaces – is critical to the success of the New Jersey Community Solar Energy Pilot Program. These large scale projects mean that energy can be generated remotely, and used by residents all across NJ,” said Shaun Keegan, CEO of Solar Landscape. “We are excited to partner with Duke Realty to bring the benefits of this historic program directly to the community we call home.”
Within the first year of the NJ Community Solar Pilot Program, the NJBPU received 252 submitted applications. From the first batch of applications, 45 projects were selected; allocating 77.61 megawatts for the program. Winning more than 20 megawatts, Solar Landscape was awarded the most capacity of any contractor. Round two of the pilot program is now underway.
The partnership between Duke Realty and Solar Landscape was forged through a shared commitment to the communities that the companies operate within.
Leveraging its existing industrial rooftop space, Duke Realty will host photovoltaic panels to generate solar power, while Solar Landscape will connect the produced power to NJ communities and businesses. Through the projects, Solar Landscape will also provide cost-free, local solar energy job training and professional certifications to individuals within the communities.
Solar Landscape expects that 51% of the electricity produced by the projects will be sold to low and moderate income households, and more than 9,000 tons of carbon emissions will be prevented from entering the atmosphere each year.
“We want to have positive impact on the communities we serve and the world in which we live,” continues Basore. “Our partnership with Solar Landscape accomplishes those goals and demonstrates our commitment to environmental stewardship.”
“This opportunity represents what’s possible when business objectives transcend the bottom line and seek to achieve a higher purpose,” said Keegan. “We believe the New Jersey Community Solar Program and others like it have the power to transform communities, and we are truly excited about the possibilities ahead.”