Tuesday, September 29, 2009

ProLogis To Fit Solar Panels to Spanish Warehouses

New group formed to offer green energy management services
Shipping News Feature

US / SPAIN - ProLogis, a leading global provider of distribution facilities, announced today it has formed a Global Renewable Energy Group to procure new business, manage installations and provide development management services for renewable energy projects globally.

"Even through the challenges of the global recession we are finding more ways to create additional value from existing assets," said Walt Rakowich, chief executive officer at ProLogis.

"We are excited to announce the formation of this group, which will enable us to expand upon the proven success in wind and solar projects we already have demonstrated in five countries across Europe, Asia and North America," he added.

In addition, ProLogis today announced a new, 4.8-megawatt (MW) solar project to be installed on eight of its rooftops at ProLogis Park Sant Boi in Barcelona and ProLogis Park Alcala in Madrid, Spain. ProLogis completed its first solar installation in France in 2005, and now has solar installations on 20 buildings covering 7.2 million square feet (669,000 square meters) of roof space.

"Upon completion of the new project in Spain, we will have more than 11 MW of solar installations on our rooftops, which is enough energy to power more than 1,100 homes per year," said Jack Rizzo, chief sustainability officer for ProLogis. "We are excited about the results of our renewable energy program so far, and expect to grow our portfolio significantly through the ongoing efforts of our Global Renewable Energy Group."

ProLogis has signed a lease agreement with Recurrent Energy, a distributed power company and a leading provider of solar energy, for two million square feet (180,000 square meters) of roof space in Spain. Recurrent Energy, the owner and operator of the system, will use the roof space to host the 4.8-MW solar installation, and will sell the energy produced to the local utility company through a feed-in tariff. ProLogis will provide construction management services in addition to receiving roof rental fees. Construction is expected to commence in October 2009.

"We have more than 450 million square feet (42 million square meters) of roof space worldwide, all of which is large, flat, unobstructed and ready to be permitted," said Drew Torbin, director of global renewable energy for ProLogis. "Even with this new installation, we are only utilizing less than two percent of this available roof space, leaving a lot of room for us to grow this new business."

The installation will be ProLogis' third solar project in Spain; the company also has installations in Tarragona and Zaragoza. Worldwide, ProLogis has projects located in the United States, Japan, France, Germany and Spain.

ProLogis’ innovation is another example of the efforts being made by the global freight industry to reduce its environmental effects. The use of large areas of effectively dead space on warehouse roofs being utilised to good effect should be noted by companies that own such large facilities who would be well advised to take note.