urbanstrong consulted this multi-unit industrial building owner on several options available to them for converting their undeveloped rooftop space from a dead cost center into a sustainable, environmentally friendly revenue stream. options explored included developing the space into a soil-based farm and/or greenhouse to be leased out to urban farmers. in the end they opted for a rooftop solar photovoltaic system, installing january 2016, which will completely eliminate the utility bill for all tenant units. they plan to sell the electricity produced to their tenants at a lower rate than what they would otherwise pay to the local utility. tenants save money, owner earns a monthly profit, and property values (and lease rates) go up in the long run as forward-thinking tenants are attracted to the space (along with all tenants interested in savings).
and then there’s also the serious environmental benefits from producing clean energy equivalent to planting over 45,000 trees, driving 3,900,000 auto miles, displacing CO2 emissions equivalent to 220 homes, or burning 1,900,000 pounds (950 tons) of coal.