Repurposing Industrial Property Roofs with Solar Panels

Industrial Solar Panels
Photo by: The Boston Globe

With vacancy rates as high as 8.0% for industrial properties in the Boston commercial real estate market, many have been searching for a way to keep their businesses out of the red. One of the new innovations as of late is the re-purposing of industrial building’s roofs for solar panel leasing.

Companies are coming to industrial property owners, are leasing their roofs, installing solar panels, and are creating a mutually beneficial relationship. These companies who are interested in the roofs are usually third-party solar companies who are looking for greater square footage to install their panels to be able to capture sunlight to create energy to sell to local utility companies.

Not only does having solar panels increase the resale value of one’s property, but also having solar panels can largely decrease, if not, eliminate one’s energy costs, which is especially important as electricity is increasing at an average rate of 5% per year . The opportunity for an industrial building owner to have a third-party lease their roof allows for them to receive supplemental income that they would otherwise not have seen if their property remained empty. The leasing of their roofs serves as a way to tie over their costs whilst searching for new tenants, as well as a way to increase revenues while they are leasing the space to tenants who would otherwise not be using the roofs for their operations.

The re-purposing of rooftops is growing, and with the continual incentives given by the state and federal government here in the United States, many more are moving towards this as well. Rooftops are an ideal location to grow solar energy spaces, as desert lands and other vacant lands pose environmental threats should their vacancies be interrupted by technology that could upset their ecosystems. Many grassroots environmental companies have shamed companies for using land that is otherwise “biologically unique, pristine, and scenic, ” and because of this, companies are searching for alternative leasing locations, such as rooftops.

This system of re-purposing commercial rooftops appears to be mutually beneficial to industrial property owners and third-party solar companies who are leasing the roofs; both companies are generating income, and even more importantly, both companies are helping the environment and decreasing their carbon footprints.

References:
-U.S. Energy Information Administration
-Earth Island Journal
-Solar Facts and Advice
-The Boston Globe