Panasonic to Install PVs Atop 12 Macerich Shopping Malls

Panasonic Eco Solutions North America and Macerich have partnered to begin the first phase of a multi-property retail real estate solar power program.

Over the next 12 months, Panasonic will install solar systems expected to yield 10.2 to 12 MW of energy at 12 Macerich shopping centers in Arizona, California, New York and Connecticut, according to the companies. Construction will begin in 2013.

Panasonic will develop each of the 12 projects, which will be financed and owned by Panasonic’s financial platform partner, Coronal Management, via one of its affiliates.

The solar power initiative is part of Macerich’s sustainability program, established in 2008, which focuses on energy efficiency, water conservation, sustainable real estate development and redevelopment, waste management and environmentally friendly operational practices and procurement. The shopping mall operator owns and manages 62 shopping centers and more than 64 million square feet of leasable space, including LEED-Gold certified Santa Monica Place (pictured).

Over the summer, Macerich announced it had saved 8.5 million gallons of water within 12 months after installing HydroPoint Data Systems’ WeatherTRAK smart irrigation controllers at eight of its shopping centers in 2011, Environmental Leader reports.

WeatherTRAK reduced the malls’ outdoor water use between 13 percent and 27 percent per site, and Macerich said it planned to implement these irrigation controllers at 12 more properties by the end of the year.

A report published last month by the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Vote Solar Initiative found that the retail sector dominates on-site solar generation, with Walmart, Costco, Kohl’s, Ikea and Macy’s making up the top five corporate solar users in terms of on-site capacity. Other retail businesses took four of the remaining spots in the top 20.

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