By Brittany Davies
The country’s largest self-storage company, Public Storage, is partnering with rooftop solar developer Solar Landscape to install solar panels on 133 of its storage buildings in a multistate initiative. Public Storage is best known for its self-storage offerings, but the company also offers RV and boat storage at many of its sites.
The rooftop panels in Maryland, New Jersey and Illinois are expected to provide clean, affordable energy to more than 10,000 homes in nearby communities.
This massive clean energy project allows residents to receive discounted electricity from the nearby solar installations hosted on Public Storage rooftops, along with additional savings opportunities for low- and moderate-income households.
According to Electrek, the program aims to expand clean energy access to frequently overlooked groups such as minority, low-income, and Indigenous communities that disproportionately bear the burden of environmental harm, including “those who are unable to install rooftop solar for reasons such as high costs, lack of roof control, or insufficient sunlight.”
In Illinois, the Public Storage projects are part of the state’s Community-Driven Solar Program and will have 44 properties dedicated to the initiative. The first 21 projects will supply energy to about 1,500 households, with another 23 projects to follow.
Marylanders will benefit from 57 low-income-focused projects as part of the Community Solar Pilot Program, which is projected to serve nearly 2,600 homes, saving community members nearly $1 million annually on energy bills. These initiatives, along with 32 projects in New Jersey, work toward Public Storage’s goal of installing solar panels on more than 1,000 of the company’s properties by 2025.
With huge amounts of available square footage, the rooftops of storage facilities, warehouses, and other big-box buildings are ideal for solar panel installation.
This often-untapped space offers the potential to support thousands of homes and businesses with clean solar power, reducing the nation’s reliance on polluting energy sources like oil, gas, and coal. Solar installation is cost-effective and efficient, saving both the store and the community money while reducing planet-warming emissions.
Johanna Neumann, senior director for Environment America’s 100% Renewable campaign, told CNN, “Every rooftop in America that isn’t producing solar energy is a rooftop wasted as we work to break our dependence on fossil fuels … Now is the time to lean into local renewable energy production, and there’s no better place than the roofs of America’s big-box superstores.”
Brittany Davies is a contributor to thecooldown.com.