The Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) annual list of the top U.S. businesses utilizing solar energy was announced today in the 2019 Solar Means Business report, and four REITs, Prologis, Inc. (NYSE: PLD), Brookfield Property REIT (NASDAQ: BPYU), Digital Realty (NYSE: DLR), and Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE: FRT), are recognized for leading the effort to solarize our nation’s real estate infrastructure.
While these companies may be lesser known to American consumers than Amazon, Apple, Walmart, Target, Google, and Facebook, that are also included on the list, these REITs are trailblazers in America’s work to create an environmentally friendly economy. Not only are they increasing solar energy capacity within their own buildings, but contributing to their tenants’ ability to collect and utilize energy efficient solar power for their operations, which contributes to their organizations’ climate commitments.
“Nareit congratulates Prologis, Brookfield Property REIT, Digital Realty, and Federal Realty Investment Trust for this recognition on their solar energy use - a critical environmental practice taking place in REIT-owned and managed real estate across the country,” said Fulya Kocak, SVP of ESG Issues at Nareit.
“Solar energy is increasingly adopted in real estate from data centers and warehouses to shopping malls. As a clean energy source, solar energy provides a great opportunity for REITs to address climate change mitigation and adaptation while creating local green jobs,” Kocak said.
The eighth annual report from SEIA follows solar adoption, tracking both on-site and off-site installations and highlighting the strong appeal of cost-saving solar energy for American businesses.
The report found 1,319 megawatts (MW) of new commercial solar capacity installed in the U.S. in 2019, representing the second-largest year on record, the largest being 2017. Prologis, coming in at number 8 on the list, installed 133.7 MW in 2019 with plans to more than double that in the next five years.
“As the world's largest owner and operator of logistics real estate, Prologis is committed to minimizing our environmental impacts, and every solar panel installed helps us get closer in the transition to clean energy,” said Jared Friedman, vice president of Global Energy, Prologis in a SEIA press release.
“Rooftop solar is a vital component of Prologis’ growing portfolio of customer-focused renewable energy solutions, and we are proud to be honored by SEIA as we work toward our goal of doubling our onsite generating capacity to 400 megawatts by 2025.”
Brookfield Property REIT and Digital Realty came in at 13 and 24, respectively, on SEIA’s list. Federal Realty Investment Trust made the list for the first time this year and was name one of the top five corporate users in the real estate industry.
Nareit’s 2019 ESG report noted that REIT investment in on-site renewables further reduces reliance on grid electricity, often serving as a cleaner alternative to utility power and offering greater resiliency in the face of increasingly frequent utility brown and blackouts. Global solar, wind, hydro, and biofuel usage currently represent 26% of all electrical generation, and 23% of REITs reported having on-site renewables, up from 18% in 2018. Read more about the REIT industry’s energy efficiency practices here.