For more than five decades, the self-storage industry has made its place in the North American consciousness, and since 1999 StorageMart has been a part of that industry, providing its clients with a clean, safe and secure place to keep possessions outside of their homes. Now StorageMart has taken a step to make more efficient use of its physical presence which will allow it to put something back into peoples’ homes.
StorageMart recently entered into an agreement with OZZ Solar/JCM Capital which calls for the installation of approximately 640,000 square feet of solar panels on the roofs of its Toronto, Ontario locations. With installation due to be complete within the first quarter of 2012, these solar energy panels will be capable of collecting up to three megawatts of power each year.
“We look forward to the completion of this project which will be one of the largest solar generation projects on self storage in North America,” said StorageMart CEO Mike Burnam.
This agreement was made possible by the feed-in-tariff (FIT) program established in Ontario in 2009, the largest of its kind in Canada. By providing long-term contracts and guaranteeing prices based on the current cost of production, the Ontario Power Authority is partnering with companies producing renewable energy with an aim toward phasing out coal-fired electricity production by 2014.
Contracting with companies to install solar collection on the rooftops of existing buildings is just the latest move in the expansion of solar energy production without a substantive corresponding physical footprint. With more than 50,000 storage facilities located in North America, the partnership between solar energy collection and the self-storage industry is a natural fit.
This relationship will provide, said JCM Capital CEO Mike Strait, “an opportunity to landowners and rooftop owners to do something great for the environment on roof space that would have otherwise been unused.”
This opportunity doesn’t just apply to self-storage companies. Strait suggests industrial space, commercial buildings, warehouses and manufacturing plants are ideal possibilities for solar panel installation. Additionally, farmers have the opportunity to lease out otherwise non-arable land for solar panel installation, thus making use of land otherwise unsuitable for farming purposes.
With fuel costs near, or at, record highs and politically unstable situations in many oil-exporting areas of the world combined with an ever-increasing awareness of the dangers of fossil fuel production and consumption on the environment, the advancement of renewable energy production is a necessary step toward a safer and cleaner future. StorageMart is proud to be at the forefront of a relationship between the renewable energy and self-storage industries that will continue to flourish in the future.