By Joshua Burd
Duke Realty Corp. has unveiled plans to install rooftop solar panels across nearly 1 million square feet of industrial space in New Jersey, the real estate investment trust announced.
The company, which has an office in Jersey City, said it will host the projects at four sites in partnership with a developer known as Solar Landscape. They’ll do so under the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ Community Solar Energy Pilot Program, which recently awarded its first allocation of capacity under a three-year initiative.
When completed, the combined projects will make Duke Realty the largest community solar project host in New Jersey and deliver more than 250 million kilowatt hours of renewable electricity to the area over the next 20 years, the REIT said. The project sites include:
- 960 and 1000 High St. in Perth Amboy
- 1 Catherine St. in Teterboro
- 5 Ethel Blvd. in Wood-Ridge
“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 vice president 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.”
In a news release, Duke noted that its four projects with Solar Landscape will total 11.07 megawatts. The installations will provide local homeowners, renters and businesses with discounted, clean energy without incurring the cost of adding panels to their own properties.
Solar Landscape, which is based in Asbury Park, will own and operate the solar projects.
“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,” said Shaun Keegan, CEO of Solar Landscape. “These large-scale projects mean that energy can be generated remotely, and used by residents all across New Jersey. We are excited to partner with Duke Realty to bring the benefits of this historic program directly to the community we call home.”
The projects are among 45 that were selected under the first round of the BPU’s community solar program, which drew 252 applications. The selected projects allocate 77.61 megawatts of capacity, 20.358 of which were awarded to Solar Landscape.
With its projects, Duke Realty will leverage existing industrial rooftop space to host photovoltaic panels that generate solar power. Solar Landscape, in turn, connects New Jersey communities and businesses to the power produced and will provide cost-free local solar energy job training and professional certifications to individuals in those communities.
Solar Landscape expects that 51 percent of the electricity produced by the projects will be sold to low- and moderate-income households, the news release said, while 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,” Basore said. “Our partnership with Solar Landscape accomplishes those goals and demonstrates our commitment to environmental stewardship.”