Glimcher Realty Trust announced plans for the largest single-roof top solar system in North America to be built on the roof of Jersey Gardens in Elizabeth, New Jersey. The 4.8MW solar array will generate enough power to offset 11 percent of the electrical consumption of the mall. Jersey Gardens, with 1.3 million square feet of leasable space, is one of the largest properties in Glimcher's regional mall portfolio, with tenants including Gap Outlet, H&M, Lord & Taylor Outlet, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Nike Factory Store and Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th.
Throughout its portfolio, Glimcher has been a leader in implementing various techniques resulting in environmentally friendly methods to conserve energy, manage or reduce waste and recycle used materials. The addition of a solar array to Jersey Gardens was made possible through a partnership with Gerding Edlen Development, Inc. , the nation's leading expert in creating a future in green buildings, and Gerding Edlen Sustainable Solutions, a subsidiary of Gerding Edlen and expert in sustainable development, renewable energy and financing.
"Jersey Gardens is already known as a premier international shopping destination and has been an innovator in sustainability. We are proud to be working alongside Gerding Edlen to create a model for clean and effective energy development and management," said Marshall Loeb, president and COO, Glimcher Realty Trust.
According to Mark Edlen, CEO of Gerding Edlen., "Working alongside Glimcher Realty Trust to develop and manage this solar project within all its complexities from securing financing, to identifying the technology and integrating the various components to execute the final installation, exemplifies the mission of Gerding Edlen Sustainable Solutions."
To realize this initiative, Glimcher entered into a power purchase agreement with Clean Focus Corporation. Under the agreement, Clean Focus will finance and own the system. All solar renewable energy credits and environmental benefits associated with the system will be owned by Clean Focus. Jersey Gardens will buy the electricity at a predetermined, predictable price, providing a long-term hedge against rising power prices with no initial capital investment.
"The 4.8 MW project size fits squarely within our sweet spot of 1MW to 20MW, and the New Jersey SREC program offers attractive returns to our investors," said Stanley Chin, President and CEO of Clean Focus. The company works closely with independent developers and systems integrators to develop, finance, and operate solar systems throughout the United States.
"Through the creation of green jobs and incorporation of environmentally proactive green technology, this project will benefit the City of Elizabeth and the entire region," said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. "Harnessing solar energy and transforming it into new energy supports the City's "Go Green" efforts, increases overall operational efficiency and effectiveness, and saves valuable dollars for Jersey Gardens."
The Jersey Gardens solar system will be designed, installed, and maintained by SunPower Corporation, an American company that designs, manufactures and delivers the most powerful solar technology broadly available today. With an expected completion date of August 2011, SunPower will begin installing the SunPowerTM T5 Solar Roof Tile system this February. The T5 Solar Roof Tile is the solar industry's first non-penetrating rooftop product that combines a high-efficiency SunPower solar panel, frame and mounting system into a single, pre-engineered unit. Tilted at a 5-degree angle, the system will approximately double the energy generated per square meter compared to other systems that are mounted flat onto commercial rooftops.
"At 4.8-megawatts on a single rooftop, this is a milestone solar installation made possible with SunPower's high-efficiency panels and T5 Solar Roof Tile System," said Tom Leyden, managing director at SunPower. "By hosting this system, Jersey Gardens will reliably maximize its savings on electricity costs over the next 20 years or more."
From its development, Jersey Gardens has been a leader in sustainability. The mall was built by Glimcher Realty Trust in 1999 on the site of a former landfill. Additionally, the property employs a robust recycling program and recently completed a light retrofitting to replace fluorescent and exterior neon lighting in an effort to manage its environmental footprint.