Self-Storage Facilities Self-Generate Their Electricity — With Solar Systems!


Self-storage facilities find that it makes sense for them to go solar to save money. Facilities in some eastern states are taking advantage of lowering costs and helpful incentives to generate their power from the sun.


Americans love to store stuff. Our large homes don’t seem to be large enough to contain all the things we purchase. Our appetite for consumption supports over 48,500 self-storage facilities. Self-storage is the fastest-growing segment of the commercial real estate industry, bringing in over $3.25 billion a year in property taxes.  

What does this have to do with solar? All those storage facilities have roofs — roofs that can provide a good site for solar panels. Some storage facility owners seem to be catching on.

We’ve been hearing about a number of these facilities going solar.

Safeguard Self Storage is spending $6.7 million to go solar at 25 of its 28 facilities in New Jersey and New York. (One facility already has solar, another has an unsuitable roof, and another opened recently and will go solar later.)

The systems, which will be installed by Trinity Solar Systems, are expected to generate 2 million kWh of solar power and meet 95% of the storage facilities’ electricity needs. They’re expected to save Safeguard over $50,000 per month.

Allan Sweet, Safeguard’s CEO, was quoted as saying, “New York and New Jersey are great first markets for Safeguard Self Storage to invest in solar-panel systems because it’s cold in the winter and hot in the summer. Electricity costs are high, and there are meaningful government incentive programs there to entice us to invest.”

The company isn’t stopping with these facilities but will also look into installing solar at other locations.

These are just some of the self-storage systems that Trinity Solar Systems has helped go solar. Another company used their services to install solar systems on 23 New Jersey self-storage facilities.

Also in an eastern state, Uncle Bob’s Self Storage operates 30 facilities that are powered by solar arrays.

One of its facilities in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, was was one of the first to offer climate-controlled storage in the Harrisburg area.

In 2013, the facility’s 180 solar panels generated more than 595,000 kWh of electricity, which exceeded the needs of the storage facility. The excess electricity produced was sent back into the electric grid for use by other PP&L customers.

“Given the environmental benefits and the reduction in electricity costs, the positive effects are felt on multiple levels with stores like these,” said Cliff Moir, Area Manager for Uncle Bob’s Pennsylvania storage facilities.