Kimco initiates four new solar-energy projects at Northeastern centers

Al Urbanski
Real Estate Editor & Manager
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Retail rooftops are among the biggest producers of solar power in the United States.

Walmart, Amazon, Apple, and Target are the top four installers of solar capacity in the United States, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association—one retail industry hallmark that gets little attention. Kimco, operator of some 400 retail centers in the United States, considers itself a pioneer of the practice, as well.

“We built our first six solar projects in 2008 and 2009 in New Jersey. That was our pilot program,” said Kimco’s VP of business operations Will Teichman. “It confirmed that rooftop solar has the potential to benefit local communities, our tenants, and serve as a potential source of income for property owners.”

Kimco’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Center Sun LLC, now drives the company’s solar power efforts. It has announced the beginning of four new installations at retail centers: Hyannis Shopping Center in Massachusetts and Greenridge Plaza, Forest Avenue Shopping Center, and Richmond Shopping Center on Staten Island.

Property owners do three things with the solar power produced at their centers: consume it themselves, sell it to tenants to reduce their overall energy costs, and sell it to local utilities. Kimco—as well as Walmart and Target—got heavily involved in the practice because it saves them money while at the same time helping utilities meet statutory requirements they have for using natural resources.

“These new installations will double the size of rooftop solar within our portfolio while adding clean energy into the local power mix in the communities these properties serve,” said Kimco CEO Conor Flynn.