11/29/2022 | by Sarah Borchersen-Keto

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the national trade association for the solar energy industry, has released its ninth annual Solar Means Business report, showing that REITs are ranked among the top corporate solar energy adopters in the nation.

Through June 2022, U.S. businesses installed nearly 19 gigawatts (GW) of on-site and off-site solar capacity—double the 9.4 GW installed through 2019. SEIA said the recent growth is due to the rapid expansion of off-site corporate solar procurement, which now represents 55% of all commercial solar use.

Digital Realty (NYSE: DLR) ranked 11th overall among corporate users for total installed solar capacity, with 241 megawatts (MW) installed through June. Prologis, Inc. (NYSE: PLD) came in 13th overall, with 217 MW installed.

"Businesses are turning to solar to power their operations in record numbers, and we are proud to be leading the pack," Digital Realty said. "As an industry leader, we have a responsibility to help organizations deliver growth while driving sustainable innovation to decarbonize our industry."

In terms of on-site solar installed, Prologis took second place among corporate users, having added over 72 MW of on-site solar to its properties since the end of 2019. Lineage Logistics, LLC came in fifth place, followed by Brookfield Properties.

“Our solar plans are very ambitious and include a goal of 1 GW of solar and battery storage by 2025. With solar from Prologis roofs, our customers reduce their emissions in an economical way,” said Susan Uthayakumar, Prologis’ chief energy and sustainability officer. “Communities also benefit from gaining access to renewable energy and improved grid resilience.”

SEIA noted that growth of on-site commercial solar has been more modest compared to off-site solar, but remains steady, averaging 3% over the last five years.

Meanwhile, Prologis ranked sixth among corporate users in terms of the total number of its solar installations. Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE: FRT) came in 12th place, Extra Space Storage Inc. (NYSE: EXR) was in 13th place, Brookfield Properties was in 14th place, and Lineage Logistics was in 16th place.

“Retail and real estate companies dominate this list, as they take advantage of their numerous commercial properties to house mid-sized rooftop systems,” SEIA said.

Lineage Logistics took the top spot for on-site solar capacity installed since 2020, with over 87 MW of solar installed. Prologis was in second place with over 72 MW.

SEIA added that both on-site and off-site solar markets will be supported by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which is expected to boost on-site markets by 24% over the next five years and off-site markets by 51%.

[Read Nareit’s recent market commentary on REITs and solar energy opportunities.]