01/28/2021 | by
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The REIT industry’s commitment to solar energy adoption has been underscored by recent projects announced by Duke Realty Corp. (NYSE: DRE) and Kimco Realty Corp. (NYSE: KIM) that demonstrate a commitment to minimizing the companies’ environmental impact while also supporting local communities.

Kimco said Jan. 27 that it is initiating five new solar projects that will double the size of rooftop solar capacity within the REIT’s portfolio. All five projects were facilitated through Kimco’s partnership with Black Bear Energy and were developed beginning in 2020 by Green Street Power Partners.

“We pioneered retail property rooftop solar with our first installation in 2009, and we continue to explore ways to responsibly expand this program that will benefit our shareholders and the communities in which we operate,” said Kimco CEO Conor Flynn.

Four of the projects are installed at Kimco properties in the New York metropolitan region and the fifth is in Massachusetts. The projects will result in 3.7 megawatts of solar, generating an estimated 4.64 million kilowatt hours annually, which is enough to power more than 600 homes per year.

The solar project at Kimco’s Jericho Atrium headquarters, on the site of its Jericho Commons Shopping Center, is part of Long Island’s Commercial Solar Feed-in Tariff program, and will supply clean energy to the local utility, PSEG Long Island. Its Staten Island projects are part of the New York community solar program and will provide energy to community solar subscribers in the ConEdison utility area, giving residents the opportunity to purchase clean power.

Meanwhile, Duke Realty, in cooperation with Solar Landscape and New Jersey state officials, launched the first community solar project in the state and celebrated its completion on Jan.28.

More than 18,000 solar panels are installed across the rooftops of Duke Realty buildings. The energy generated is sold to more than 1,200 homes—50% of which are low to moderate income households.

The project was developed as part of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ Community Solar Energy Pilot Program, which ensures underserved and overburdened communities can access the health and financial benefits of renewable energy.

“Duke Realty is committed to sustainable development like our four-building community in Perth Amboy [New Jersey],” said Art Makris, SVP of the Northeast region for Duke Realty. “Partnering with Solar Landscape, the solar project covering one million square feet of rooftop generates 11.1 megawatts of clean electricity. In total, Duke Realty has helped generate 28.2 megawatts of clean electric power on roofs across the country annually,” he added.