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Eight months after announcing the completion of our first solar project in South Carolina, we’re honoring Earth Month with updates about this initiative. When the pandemic hit the US in early 2020 it was expected that global plans for solar installation would slow to a halt. Our team, however, was committed to finding a safe and effective way to continue the process. We interviewed asset manager, Jennifer Borie, to give us more insight on the importance and passion behind leveraging solar technology to power our self-storage facilities and to comment on the future of these projects through the end of the year.

In This Article:
  1. To begin, what are the benefits of installing panels on a self-storage facility?
  2. At this point in time, how many SmartStop locations have solar panels?
  3. How many SmartStop locations can expect to have solar panels by the end of 2021? What is the future/vision of SmartStop’s commitment to going “green”/ utilizing clean energy? 
  4. What percentage of energy is saved per location?
  5. What is the direct environmental impact SmartStop will have as a result of this first round of solar implementations?

1. To begin, what are the benefits of installing panels on a self-storage facility?

Commercial buildings traditionally have a heavy environmental footprint. Self-storage minimally affects the equation; however, the benefits far outweigh the cost of implementation.  Investing in clean energy increases the property value, cuts down on operating costs, but more importantly, reduces our environmental footprint.  And solar panels utilize underutilized space: rooftops.

 

 

2. At this point in time, how many SmartStop locations have solar panels?

There are 16 locations that are either under development or are fully operational. In addition, we have 7 properties that have been utilizing solar energy for several years, including 3 of our Canadian properties in the Greater Toronto Area.

3. How many SmartStop locations can expect to have solar panels by the end of 2021? What is the future/vision of SmartStop’s commitment to going “green”/ utilizing clean energy? 

Our intent is to have begun or completed installation on a total of 41 properties by the end of 2021, bringing our grand total to 48 properties with solar panels. As a company, we are committed to sustainable energy and upholding our social responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint. Over the course of the next several years, our goal is that at least 50% of SmartStop’s electricity will come from renewable resources. 

We are in the midst of an exciting era where renewable energy, including solar, is experiencing exponential growth.  By 2025 renewable energy will be the largest source of electricity generation worldwide, according to the IEA (International Energy Agency).

4. What percentage of energy is saved per location?

The goal is to design a solar array that handles 85-95% of the total electricity used by each site.  Solar production varies based on the weather or the season. However, over the course of a full year, we expect to reap the full benefit.

 

 

5. What is the direct environmental impact SmartStop will have as a result of this first round of solar implementations?

The first round of solar projects includes 41 properties, which will generate approximately 4 GWh of energy per year, reducing CO2 emissions equal to more than 329k gallons of gas combusted, or 3 million pounds of coal burned.

If you'd like to read our original blog about the solar initiative at SmartStop, please click here.

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