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Taking control of energy costs
When we acquired The Crossroads in San Mateo, California, we didn’t just see potential in transforming the buildings—we also had our eye on the parking lot. The site was perfectly suited for a solar carport, which we knew would benefit our tenants, partners, and the planet. Not only do solar carports protect tenants’ cars from the elements, they also generate electricity for the property’s building and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. In late 2019, we began the large solar carport project at The Crossroads, involving our community and our partners, every step of the way.
A win-win for people and the planet
Before and during construction, we held a series of tenant town meetings to discuss our construction plans and how we would mitigate environmental impacts. With broad enthusiasm from our community behind us, the carports were financed, built, and operated by a third party under a long-term energy service agreement. This stipulates that the solar electricity generated by the new carport is sold to the property at a cost lower than the local electric utility cost—making it a good investment for the environment and the bottom line. The difference in electricity cost becomes revenue for the property, with no offsetting expenses, owner investment, operations, or maintenance responsibility.
Building a sustainable future
Today, the carport at The Crossroads generates roughly 20% of the property’s electricity and reduces the property’s CO2 emissions by over 23,000 tons—the equivalent of taking 161 cars off the road. It has an electric output capacity of 995 kW from the 1,800 solar panels and has been generating approximately 1.2 million kWh/yr.
This project was just a small part of our larger commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across our portfolio. We measure our emissions on an ongoing basis using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to track our indirect emissions (generated at offsite power facilities) and our direct emissions (derived from on-site sources like natural gas). We’re proud of the progress we’re making, and are working hard to realize our vision of a sustainable future for everyone. In 2020, our properties showed a 34% decrease in direct greenhouse gas emissions and a 16% decrease in indirect emissions when compared to 2019.