Update 10/22/14 – Safeguard Self Storage has completed the first of 25 solar-power system installations underway at its facilities in New Jersey and New York. Its facility at 140 Spring St. in Elizabeth, N.J., is the first to come online with a system designed to produce 129.6 kW of electricity. It is expected to handle approximately 80 percent of the facility’s power needs, company officials said in a press release.
The Elizabeth system was expected to begin producing solar power on Oct. 17, according to the release. The installation is part of a $6.7 million agreement Safeguard signed with Trinity Solar Systems in May. The other 24 solar projects are expected to come online later this year and early 2015, Safeguard officials said.
Founded in 1989, Safeguard operates a portfolio of 65 self-storage locations in six states, with 28 facilities in New Jersey and New York.
5/30/14 – Safeguard Self Storage, which operates 28 facilities in New Jersey and New York, has entered a $6.7 million agreement with Trinity Solar Systems to install solar panels at 25 of its properties. The panels are expected to generate 2 million kWh of electricity, meeting 95 percent of the storage facilities’ energy needs. The first installations should be operational by late summer, with all systems functional by mid-autumn.
"New York and New Jersey are great first markets for Safeguard Self Storage to invest in solar-panel systems because it’s cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Electricity costs are high, and there are meaningful government incentive programs there to entice us to invest," said Allan Sweet, CEO.
Three of the company’s properties will not be receiving solar panels at this time. The facility in Thornwood, N.Y., acquired by Safeguard in 2013, already has a solar-panel system. The roof of the Baldwin, N.Y., facility was not deemed conducive to panel installation, according to a press release. The company’s Bronx II site, which was recently opened, will undergo installation at a later date.
Safeguard also has a facility under construction in the West Farms neighborhood of the Bronx and two under construction in Brooklyn (one on Albany Avenue and another in Bedford Stuyvesant). All three will receive solar panels in the future.
“These systems will enable Safeguard Self Storage to breakthrough yet another higher hurdle of profitability for its investor, while at the same time doing something good for the environment and the communities we serve,” said executive vice president and chief financial officer Mark Rinder. “We will continue to investigate other markets for which this product might make sense.”
After their completion in October, the solar installations will save the company more than $50,000 per month and shield Safeguard from the inevitable rate increases the utilities will pass on in the future, according to Ken Finlay, senior vice president of operations.
Trinity Solar Systems has installed more than 6,000 systems in the Northeast, which currently generate more than 85 million kWh of electricity. The company recently installed solar panels on 23 New Jersey self-storage facilities owned by another independent operator.