Diamond Properties, a commercial real estate and management company, is demonstrating leadership in renewable energy in the northeast with its latest rooftop solar photovoltaic installations at three of its properties in West Nyack, NY, Watertown, CT, and Danbury, CT. One of the sites, West Nyack, now hails as the largest rooftop solar photovoltaic system in the state of New York at an impressive size of 2,497 kilowatts. With the sites in production since last fall, Diamond Properties has more than doubled its solar portfolio in the span of a year.
The solar investments made by Diamond Properties allow its tenants, local businesses, to benefit from solar energy while reducing their electric bills. “I don’t think that tenants choose a building just because it’s got solar power, but I think when they’re evaluating their options, and all things being equal, a green building is always appealing,” said Jim Diamond, CEO of Diamond Properties. Solar at the Watertown site is projected to offset 93% of annual energy needs of its current tenant, Shelter Logic, a manufacturer of shade, shelter and storage products. Similarly at the West Nyack site, a 71% energy offset is projected for its tenants: Intercos, a cosmetics company, and PDI, a manufacturer of professional disposables such as cleansing wipes. The property in Danbury, CT, a La Quinta Inn and Suites, is projected to offset 18% of its annual energy needs with the newly installed solar.
Diamond Properties worked with New York-based Safari Energy, LLC to develop and construct all of the projects. The three sites were strategically selected for their large, unshaded roofs, high electricity rates, and the availability of state solar incentives. John Lind, Senior Vice President of Safari Energy commented, “These investments by Diamond Properties further its goals of achieving substantial economic returns while providing its tenants with clean, renewable and discounted energy.” Diamond Properties and Safari Energy worked together with M&T Bank to reduce the necessary capital outlay by utilizing M&T Bank’s solar operating lease product.
“The systems are actually generating a little bit more power than what was projected by the financial models,” said Diamond. “It is exciting when the actual results outperform the financial model by a few percentage points.” Over the 30-year lifetime of the three solar systems, the energy to be produced will avoid 83 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to about 192,000 barrels of oil or taking 17,500 passenger vehicles off the road.
Diamond Properties is committed to sustainable business practices and plans to continue growing its renewable energy portfolio. Diamond said the company picked an arbitrary goal of ten megawatts of solar and now has about seven megawatts installed. “We’re 70 percent of the way there, and once we pass that I’m sure we will set a different goal for ourselves,” said Diamond. “What I’m generally trying to do is to get the largest percentage of our power consumption coming from solar across the portfolio. We’re working our way down the list from largest to smallest, and the West Nyack project is the largest one we have done so far.”