Midtown storage facility goes green with solar panels

Published January 25, 2013

Posted Jan 18, 2013, 3:01pm CST in the Memphis Business Journal by Juan Roncal, Editorial intern

Absolute Storage Management, a Memphis-based self-storage company, recently completed a large solar energy paneling project on their Midtown facility at 1485 Madison Ave.

The 117-panel, 28-kilowatt installation covers approximately one-third of the building’s roof space. The panels are expected to offset 40 percent of the facility's energy costs, and the company is expecting a return on their investment within seven years. Absolute Storage did not release a financial investment for the project.

Absolute Storage maintained the building’s historic facade and the solar panels join an already environmentally friendly neighborhood as the building’s location is a part of Memphis’ bicycle corridor. No stranger to green energy alternatives, Absolute Storage has panels on another of its storage facilities in Nashville.

Installed by LightWave Solar, a Nashville-based company with offices in Memphis, the panels were designed, produced and connected to Memphis Light, Gas and Water’s power grid in November. “We’ve completed nearly a dozen installations in and around Memphis since last spring,” said Peter Calandruccio, solar consultant with LightWave Solar, in a statement. “Solar is gaining momentum in Memphis, due in part to attractive incentives and lower solar panel costs.”

Currently, there are several government incentive programs that make solar energy attractive for Memphis businesses including a 30 percent federal tax credit and a 22-cent per kilowatt hour energy buyback incentive from the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The move comes at a time when the rest of the Mid-South solar industry is in flux. Recently, Mississippi settled a lawsuit with California-based solar panel manufacturer Twin Creeks after it abandoned its production facility in Senatobia, Miss.

Hemlock SemiConductor, another solar panel manufacturer, recently laid off 300 of its 400 workers in Clarksville, Tenn.

Original Link: http://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/news/2013/01/18/midtown-storage-facility-goes-green.html