Commercial Rooftop Solar Can Boost Property Value

New research published by real estate company, JLL has found that solar PV arrays on commercial properties can increase their value through additional income streams.

Chris Strathon, director in valuation at JLL, explained: “This is the first in-depth research into understanding the impact of solar and it is clear the majority of commercial roof space is untapped as an additional revenue provider.

“We believe rooftop solar on commercial property adds value by improving the marketability of a property to occupiers who are driven by cost or CSR objectives, and additional income which is received via power purchase agreements and government-backed tariffs.”

The research also reveals that rising energy costs as well as a strong governmental push for solar rooftop deployment are two key factors which are encouraging landlords and tenants to explore installing solar. The EU’s 2019 zero carbon requirement for commercial buildings combined with a predicted 60% increase in wholesale electricity prices in real terms by 2024 mean that solar is being considered by companies as a viable energy generation tool.

Sainsbury’s is the largest multi-roof PV operator in Europe, with solar installed on over 200 of its properties in the UK. Paul Crewe, head of sustainability, engineering, energy & environment at the supermarket, said: “We will have 170,000 panels generating 40MW by spring 2015. This is key to enabling us to take control of our energy costs and minimise our environmental impact and achieve the environmental commitments we made in our 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan. Supermarkets have the equivalent of football fields on their roofs, many of them underutilised so it is ideal for turning that space into something positive.”

Speaking to Solar Power Portal, Amber Rudd, the minister for energy

“What we’re trying to do is consult with industry to make sure whatever they are [barriers to deployment], we help get them out of the way. There is further to go, part of my visit here is to try and open up the possibilities and let people know more about what’s going on.”

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