It has come to my attention recently that the real estate trust Prologis is developing the rooftops of their existing buildings by contracting to lease the space to power companies to install solar panels.
From the press release:
Headquartered in Denver, Colo., as a manager and developer of real estate, ProLogis is actively seeking out electric utilities to lease out its rooftops as a way to earn extra income with no capital investment, while meeting the company’s goal of contributing to global sustainability.
As a real estate investment trust, ProLogis isn’t interested in owning the solar installations, but rather in engaging utilities as a renter of its space. Utilities make solid tenants that will enter long-term leases, as most power-purchase agreements for solar power generation are for 15 to 20 years.
ProLogis manages more than five hundred million square feet of industrial space and they are putting all of it to good use on three continents. Actually, ProLogis owns more rooftops than anyone in the world – they have available space in twenty-four countries across the globe. The amount of space is equivalent to approximately 10,000 football fields.
Now, I’m not willing to give them a free pass on the development aspect of continually developing new buildings on virgin land, but putting solar panels on their roof tops to feed the grids sure makes good use of a resource that is normally ignored. I would bet that they probably help insulate the roofs even, which can only be good.