MAY 2024

22A — May 2024 — Owners, Developers & Managers — M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal

O wners , D evelopers & M anagers For commercial and industrial real estate owners, no-cost rooftop revenue

Maryland Community Solar: Welcoming the sun as a tenant

W e all want to be good neighbors, both at home and at work.

Bill 908, making Maryland’s community solar program per- manent and allowing for unlim- ited community solar capacity. Rooftop community solar projects allow multiple con- sumers to share the benefits of solar power from a single, centralized installation. With community solar, commer- cial real estate owners can invest in solar projects that power their own properties and provide renewable energy to the community. This evolved model can create new revenue streams for property owners and demonstrate support for

the transition to clean energy. New research published by Stanford University found that installing solar on large commercial rooftops could substantially increase access to solar for historically dis- advantaged communities in the U.S. Amid an economic downturn, these findings in - vite commercial real estate owners to look up – to their properties’ rooftops. Rooftop Revenue With momentum building for community solar at the state and federal level, 2024 is a good time for Maryland commercial real estate owners to consider hosting community solar projects. Beginning the planning and design phase now could mean collecting lease payments in 2025, cre- ating new revenue streams quickly with no upfront in- vestment. This solar “tenant” pays rent year in and year out, regardless of whether the building is occupied. The best commercial and industrial buildings for com- munity solar projects have large, flat rooftops that are at least 30,000 s/f. Commercial Rooftops: Putting Energy Closer to the People – and Faster Rooftop projects are also usually built more quickly because they require no wa- ter or land impact studies, fewer permits, and never face the type of public opposi- tion that ground-level solar panels create. In addition, solar instal- lations on commercial roof- tops create energy produc- tion close to where it will be consumed. This proximity reduces transmission and dis- tribution costs and increases efficiency, reducing the strain on the electrical grid. Embracing community solar not only benefits forward- thinking commercial property owners but also expands the use of clean energy in Mary- land while supporting local communities and the environ- ment. As the state continues to invest in renewable energy, commercial real estate owners have a prime opportunity to be catalysts at the forefront of decarbonization. Shaun Keegan is CEO and co-founder of Solar Landscape, the leading commercial and commu- nity solar developer in the United States. MAREJ

Now, owners of large com- mercial and industrial buildings in Maryland can gener- ate consis- tent month- ly long-term

Shaun Keegan

revenue and be good neighbors to their surrounding communi- ties at the same time. In 2023, the Maryland Gen- eral Assembly passed House

Rooftop solar installations like this one can generate revenue for Maryland business owners and advance clean energy.

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