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Rooftop solar system to be built on Jersey Gardens outlet mall

Elizabeth, N.J. -- Columbus, Ohio-based Glimcher Realty Trust has announced plans for the largest single-roof top solar system in North America to be built on the roof of Jersey Gardens in Elizabeth, N.J.

The 4.8MW solar array will generate enough power to offset 11% of the electrical consumption of the mall, according to Glimcher. Jersey Gardens, with 1.3 million sq. ft. of leasable space, is one of the largest properties in Glimcher’s regional mall portfolio, with tenants including Gap Outlet, H&M, Lord & Taylor Outlet, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Nike Factory Store and Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th.

The addition of a solar array to Jersey Gardens was made possible through a partnership with Gerding Edlen Development and Gerding Edlen Sustainable Solutions, a subsidiary of Gerding Edlen.

Glimcher entered into a power purchase agreement with Clean Focus Corp. Under the agreement, Clean Focus will finance and own the system. All solar renewable energy credits and environmental benefits associated with the system will be owned by Clean Focus. Jersey Gardens will buy the electricity at a predetermined, predictable price, providing a long-term hedge against rising power prices with no initial capital investment.

The Jersey Gardens solar system will be designed, installed, and maintained by SunPower Corp. With an expected completion date of August 2011, SunPower will begin installing the SunPower T5 Solar Roof Tile system in February. The T5 Solar Roof Tile is the solar industry’s first non-penetrating rooftop product that combines a high-efficiency SunPower solar panel, frame and mounting system into a single, pre-engineered unit. Tilted at a 5-degree angle, the system will approximately double the energy generated per square meter compared with other systems that are mounted flat onto commercial rooftops.

“At 4.8-megawatts on a single rooftop, this is a milestone solar installation made possible with SunPower’s high-efficiency panels and T5 Solar Roof Tile System,” said Tom Leyden, managing director at SunPower. “By hosting this system, Jersey Gardens will reliably maximize its savings on electricity costs over the next 20 years or more.”

From its development, Jersey Gardens has been a leader in sustainability. The mall was built by Glimcher Realty Trust in 1999 on the site of a former landfill. Additionally, the property employs a robust recycling program and recently completed a light retrofitting to replace fluorescent and exterior neon lighting in an effort to manage its environmental footprint.