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The Tower Companies installs largest solar canopy in City of Rockville

Image credit: Prospect Solar

The new photovoltaic system will generate 20% of the Tower Building at 1101 Wootton Parkway

Press Release published by The Tower Companies

ROCKVILLE, Md., Feb. 1, 2022 Today, The Tower Companies and Prospect Solar, LLC announced that The Tower Building, located at 1101 Wootton Parkway in Rockville, Md., flipped the switch on Tower’s largest on-site solar photovoltaic (PV) system. The project is also the largest solar PV Canopy installation in the City of Rockville and will contribute to Maryland’s long-term goal of net-zero GHG emissions by 2045.

In a statement from City of Rockville’s Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton, she said that “the installation of the solar carport and electric vehicle charging stations at 1101 Wootton Parkway is especially timely given Rockville’s work to approve our first Climate Action Plan. This is a great, innovative project that shows how Rockville businesses are contributing to clean, local renewable energy generation and helping our community meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals. We are proud that our city is home to companies like Tower that share the values of our community and are taking proactive approaches to help us meet Rockville’s climate action goals.”

The Tower Companies is a privately held and family-owned sustainable and healthy building leader that developed 1101 Wootton Parkway in 2001, continuing to own and manage the property today. The 290,000 SF, 10-story multi-tenant commercial office building is LEED® Gold Certified under Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance. The building is also ENERGY STAR Certified with a score of 84, which means that its energy performance is in the top 16 percent of similar buildings nationwide.

“Tower is proud to continue our long-standing commitment to sustainability and contribute to local, state, and national climate action goals that will improve the lives of generations to come” said Eric Posner, The Tower Companies’ Chief Operating Officer. “We view this project as a smart investment that not only benefits the environment but is also a real value-add for our office building tenants. These solar panels will directly improve building performance, reduce operating costs, and take pressure off the electricity grid, yielding clean and reliable energy. We hope our work will inspire other building owners to take similar action.”

Project Details:

The new half megawatt solar PV canopy system features 1,318 (435-watt) American-made panels in the adjacent parking lot, with an estimated annual production of nearly 690,000 kWh, or 20 percent of the total building energy demand. The onsite clean energy generated will be equivalent to the amount of carbon offset by 600 acres of U.S. forests annually. The project also included the installation of 4 new electric vehicle stations. Gregorio Sustainability LLC advised on, developed, and helped manage the project for The Tower Companies. Prospect Solar, a Virginia-based solar provider, designed and installed the 573-kW solar PV system.
A blog about the project was posted by the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection to share highlights about implementation and other partners that made it a success. “Tower’s leadership on this project continues to prove that distributed renewable energy plays a major role in the future of new and existing buildings” said Andrew Skinner, VP of Prospect Solar.

The Tower Companies worked closely with the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) to receive a generous grant from the Parking Lot Solar Photovoltaic Canopy with Electric Vehicle Charger Program.
Tower is excited that this project will help make progress towards the State of Maryland’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction (GGRA) Act, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2045. The Tower Companies shares the same climate targets, aligned with a commitment to ULI Greenprint and the Paris Agreement.

“Solar canopies are an excellent way to provide a dual purpose to land used for parking” said Mary Beth Tung, Director of the Maryland Energy Administration. “In addition to keeping cars cool and protected from the elements, the solar panels provide clean, renewable electricity to reduce the need for grid supplied electricity, while four onsite charging stations provide opportunities for employees and visitors to power their electric vehicles.”

About the Tower Companies

Headquartered in Rockville, MD, the family-owned Tower Companies has maintained a commitment to responsible development and continues to envision a world where buildings inspire and enrich the lives of their occupants and create positive social change. Tower owns and manages over 6 million square feet in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area consisting of office buildings, retail shopping centers, lifestyle centers, and residential eco-progressive live-work-play communities, with an additional 13 million square feet in the development pipeline. Learn more at: https://towercompanies.com/