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Self-Storage Going Solar: Save the World (And Save Some Money…)
Posted 2/13/2015
Author Stephen Hollowell
 
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 Self-Storage Going Solar: Save the World (And Save Some Money…)

In January of 2015, the Melbourne, Australia self-storage company Fort Knox completed the installation of a 60 kW solar panel system at their self-storage facility in Scoresby. Installed by solar installation company Enervest, the solar energy system consists of 240 solar panels and is expected to produce as much as 65 percent of the facility’s electricity. Facilities manager Craig Shanahan predicts that the project will pay for itself after about four years.

Solar Makes Sense for Self-Storage

The use of solar energy in the self-storage industry is a growing trend that makes sense. Most self-storage properties are made up of endless rows of flat-roofed buildings, providing ample space with exposure to the sun that is prime real estate for solar panel installation.

In addition to being structurally suited to implementing solar panels, self-storage facilities also use relatively little energy. Since the electricity of most individual units is usually off, this opens up the door for the owners of storage facilities to sell excess energy back to the utility companies and possibly turning a profit as well as supplying their own power.

Safeguard Self Storage Plans for Solar

Another self-storage brand that recently made plans to go green is the Atlanta-based Safeguard Self Storage. In May of 2014, the company announced that they will be installing solar panels at 25 out of 28 of their New York and New Jersey facilities.

At a cost of $6.7 million, the project is expected to save the company around $50,000 every month on their electricity bill.

Go Green and Save Green

Although not an entirely new concept, going green with solar panel installation is beginning to make more sense to self-storage operators across the United States, Australia and other parts of the world.

In 2012, Planet Self Storage of Hyde Park, MA installed a 197 kW solar energy system on its one acre roof. The energy output of the system is equivalent to the amount of solar energy it would take to power fifty to sixty average-sized homes.

The installation of solar panels is a large investment, but it ends up paying for itself and then some. Even if self-storage operators cannot rationalize spending a few million on solar panels, there are a few simple changes that can be made to any facility, such as;

·         Replacing incandescent bulbs with fluorescent or LED

·         Setting up onsite recycling centers

·         Using recycled materials to build new facilities or make renovations/additions

WORKS CITED:

Galloway, Anthony. “Self-storage company Fort Know shifts to solar power at Scoresby.” Leader Community Newspapers. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/east/self-storage-company-fort-knox-shifts-to-solar-power-at-scoresby/story-fngnvlxu-1227174712417?nk=13117cb380c30b4bbb5bdec98896b006. Jan 6, 2015.

Long, Nadine. “Green Storage Wars: Self Storage Facilities Launch Eco-Friendly Innovations.” http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2012/01/13/green-self-storage-facilities/. January 13, 2012.

Stevens, John. “Self Storage Company Makes Significant Investment in Solar Panels.” Extra Space Storage. http://blog.extraspace.com/news/self-storage-company-makes-significant-investment-solar-panels/. May 30, 2014.

“Planet Self Storage in Hyde Park, MA Installs Solar Energy System.” Mini-storage messenger. http://www.ministoragemessenger.com/blog/?p=1141. June 13, 2013. 


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