Neighborhood Storage, which operates 23 self-storage facilities in North-Central Florida, has added solar panels to four of its properties. The $200,000 project was offset by a grant from Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development.
The 176 solar panels were mounted over a three-week period by Solar Impact, a Florida-based installer of solar-photovoltaic systems. “Florida is widely considered in the solar industry as the next big market for solar,” said Barry Jacobson, president of Solar Impact.
The panels will serve as a generator for the facilities’ indoor and outdoor lighting as well as the heating and cooling. They’ll also power live-feed monitors that show their real-time power production. Carbon-dioxide emissions from the four sites are expected to drop by 80,500 pounds in the first year, according to a press release.
“For several years, we’ve looked at all these roofs on our storage buildings and thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we could turn those square feet into energy?’” said Todd Rudnianyn, president of Neighborhood Storage. “Well, thanks to the help of Solar Impact and the REAP grant, we were able to figure out how.”
Neighborhood Storage is a family-owned and -operated business that has served Marion County and surrounding areas for more than 35 years. Its currently expanding existing properties as well as building a new facility in Ocala, Fla.