Duke Realty, the largest domestic-only real estate investment trust in the United States, will host solar projects covering nearly 1 million sq ft of roof space across four of its New Jersey industrial sites through a partnership with Solar Landscape.
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) selected the four projects, totaling 11.07 MW, as the first of 77.61 MW of solar power awarded in year one of its three-year Community Solar Energy Pilot Program.
The allocation represents more than 29% of rooftop solar awarded in the program’s first year. When completed, the combined projects will make Duke Realty the largest community solar project host in New Jersey and deliver more than 250 million kWh of renewable electricity to the community over 20 years.
“We are pleased to have been selected as a major participant in the first round of New Jersey 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 United States, and we are proud to further our commitment to sustainable buildings with these projects in the New Jersey market.”
Solar Landscape, a commercial and industrial solar developer in New Jersey, will own and operate the solar projects. The projects will provide local homeowners, renters, and businesses with discounted, clean energy without incurring the cost of adding solar panels to their own properties.
“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 New Jersey,” 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.”
In the first year of the NJ Community Solar Pilot Program, 252 project proposals were submitted to the NJBPU, totaling more than 650 MW of capacity. Just 45 projects were selected from the first year’s batch, allocating 77.61 MW for the program. Solar Landscape was awarded 20.358 MW or more than 26% of first-round capacity. Round two of the pilot program is now underway.
Duke Realty partnered with Solar Landscape for a shared commitment to the communities they both operate within, the companies said in a press release. With these projects, Duke Realty leverages existing industrial rooftop space to host photovoltaic panels that generate solar power. Solar Landscape connects New Jersey communities and businesses to the power produced and will also provide cost-free local solar energy job training and professional certifications to individuals in these communities.
“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.”
Solar Landscape expects that 51% of the electricity produced by the projects will be sold to low- and moderate-income households.
“This opportunity represents what’s possible when business objectives transcend the bottom line and seek to achieve a higher purpose,” Keegan said. “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.”