At the beginning of 2013, I wrote an update on our solar power plans, and now it’s time to take a look at what we’ve done, plus where we’re headed for the rest of the year. Before this year, we had already installed solar power on more than 100 properties in six states, including California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Ohio.
The big news is that we’ve added some new states to the mix! For the first time, we’re installing solar power on storage properties in Connecticut, New York, and Utah. We’re working on, or have recently completed, installations for solar power on 29 additional properties for 2013. Plus, we’re considering adding solar power on another 15 properties this year, with the possibility of implementing solar on a property in Texas!
Adding solar power to our storage facilities in these new areas does come with some challenges. There’s a getting acquainted period as we learn about local systems, including permits and interconnection agreements. Paperwork! We all love it, right? However, the extra work is well worth it. With each additional property that receives solar power, we’re decreasing our carbon footprint with the use of clean energy, and we’re making wise business decisions. These investments in solar power today will yield clean energy for many more years to come!
Local Incentives Help Make Solar Energy Possible
There’s a good reason we’ve been able to stretch our solar footprint into new territory. With the incentives offered by local utilities, it makes good business sense to add solar power to storage properties in these new states.
Here’s one example of how local incentives are helping us add solar in more states: We’re installing solar power to at least five (possibly six) properties in Utah, and the incentives offered by Rocky Mountain Power go a long way toward helping to ensure that Extra Space Storage will have a good return on investment (ROI) for those solar installations. Here’s another example: I mentioned that we’re considering adding solar power in Texas for the first time, this is because the city of San Antonio is offering a local solar rebate program.
Similarly, the incentives offered by local utilities in other states have motivated us to add solar power to more properties. In fact, keeping track of the various types of federal, state and local solar power incentives is an important part of my job.
New York is FIT for Solar Energy
In the New York City area, Feed-In Tariff (FIT) programs, offered through New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), have made it possible for us to partner with Safari Energy to add solar power for the first time in New York. In the New York area, solar power makes great business sense for us for two big reasons: the high cost of energy in New York, and the FIT programs, which pay a fixed rate for solar power generated by eligible properties.
Lighting Up Parking with Totally Off-grid Solar Energy
I’m very excited about our solar energy progress in 2013, and our team is always looking at new ways to save even more energy. Here’s a quick bit about a great energy-saving project at one property in California: We’re going completely off-grid to light new RV parking canopies with solar energy! Coming up soon, I’ll share much more about that new off-grid lighting, as well as additional stories on other sustainability projects at Extra Space Storage.
Are you motivated to install solar panels because your utility company offers incentives? Have you calculated your ROI for adding solar power to your property?