Regency Centers partners with U.S. Department of Energy on parking lot project

Falls Church, Va. Jacksonville, Fla.-based shopping center owner and developer Regency Centers said Friday it is participating in the Department of Energy Solid State Lighting Technology Demonstration Gateway program to incorporate LED parking lot lighting at its Willston Centre II in Falls Church, Va.

Gateway Demonstrations showcase high-performance LED products and provide real-world experience and data on product performance and cost effectiveness. 

According to Mark Peternell, Regency Centers’ VP sustainability, the Willston Centre II shopping center will serve as a test site to determine the viability of expanding LED parking lot lights at other Regency shopping centers nationwide.

“We are honored to be among industry leaders working with the DOE and the national laboratories to advance the development and market adoption of promising energy-efficient technologies,” said Peternell.

According to Peternell, LED parking lot lighting is a new technology that has potentially enormous energy savings. The lights are more precise in their direction, while reducing waste light and limiting glare.

“The primary aim of Regency’s involvement in the DOE’s Gateway project and Commercial Building Energy Alliance is reducing the energy costs, greenhouse gas emissions, and on-going maintenance costs,” said Peternell. “We also expect our efforts to showcase this promising energy-efficient technology in order to encourage use, and ultimately drive down costs. Plus, it’s the right thing to do and will provide a measurable benefit to our retailers in the form of lower electricity bills and CAM savings.”

The DOE predicts that LED parking lot lights will reduce parking lot energy needs by more than 50%, and maintenance costs by more than 80% compared to traditional parking lot lights. LED lights are projected for replacement every 10 years on average, while traditional High Intensity Discharge lights must be replaced every two to three years.

Regency Centers formally announced its plans to incorporate sustainable elements into its new developments, operating properties and corporate operations in 2007. Since then, the company has started a variety of programs designed to mitigate Regency’s impact on the environment. In addition to participating in this DOE initiative, Regency Centers has installed smart irrigation controllers at 90 shopping centers nationwide, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified and LEED-registered eleven shopping centers under construction, and been selected by the U.S. Green Building Council to author its Green Retail Guide. Regency’s corporate greengenuity initiative includes a commitment to LEED certify a minimum of 60% of development starts in 2010.

Willston Centre II was originally constructed in 1986 and Regency Centers acquired the 127,449-sq.-ft. center in 2005.

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