SmartStop Self Storage REIT Inc., a publicly registered non-traded real estate investment trust formerly known as Strategic Storage Trust II Inc., has completed its first solar panel project in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. The company noted that the project is part of a broader company-wide initiative to reduce its carbon footprint and become more energy efficient.
The panels, which were installed at SmartStop’s Mt. Pleasant location, are expected to collectively contribute energy output of 61.38 kilowatt photovoltaics (kW PV), resulting in an annualized savings of 81,500 kilowatt hours (kWh).
At full capacity, the electricity savings generated from this system is equivalent to replacing or removing:
Greenhouse gas emissions from ~12.4 passenger vehicles driven for one year;
Emissions from a single passenger vehicle driven nearly 143,000 miles;
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from approx. 9.8 homes’ annualized electricity use;
CO2 sequestered from ~75.3 acres of U.S. forests in one year.
The company plans to deploy similar installations at various locations throughout the U.S. and Canada over the course of the next few years, including 10 projects installed by the end of 2020 which are projected to generate more than 1.3 million kWh each year.
“This solar panel installation at our Mt. Pleasant location is the first of many projects we have planned in the coming months and over the next few years,” said Michael McClure, chief executive officer of SmartStop. “As property owners, we have an obligation that extends to our customers, our business partners and our surrounding communities to act as a responsible, ethical corporate steward.”
He added, “Beyond meeting our essential responsibilities to the environment, we’re also focused on maintaining energy-efficient operations that meet the demands of a modern self-storage operation. Over time, we expect our broader green-focused initiatives and other value-added capital investments will generate material energy and cost savings, and this launch represents a great first step in the right direction.”
The project at Mt. Pleasant was designed and installed in cooperation with Warner Energy LLC.
SmartStop Self Storage REIT is a self-managed REIT that also sponsors other self-storage programs through its indirect subsidiary SmartStop REIT Advisors LLC, including Strategic Storage Trust IV Inc., a non-traded REIT.
SmartStop launched its initial public offering in January 2014 and raised $566 million in investor equity prior to closing in January 2017. As of the first quarter of 2020, the company raised $52.1 in distribution reinvestment plan proceeds, and has approximately $1.6 billion of real estate assets under management, including 144 properties in 19 states and Toronto.