New Jersey-area malls go solar

Chicago-based General Growth Properties is taking steps toward reducing the carbon footprint of four New Jersey-area malls by outfitting them with state-of-the-art solar panels.

Bridgewater Commons (shown here), Paramus Park, Willowbrook Mall and Woodbridge Center will in total be equipped with 20,000 5.1 megawatt panels that will provide an estimated 12% of the properties’ energy needs.

“GGP has a strong commitment to sustainability. Contributing to the well-being of the communities we serve is important and we recognize and pursue opportunities to improve the efficiency of our properties,” said Chuck Lhotka, executive VP asset management at GGP.

In all, the panel coverage will total approximately 3 million sq. ft. of roof space. GGP partnered with Safari Energy to design, engineer and construct the solar systems and assist with local power and regulatory agencies.

The high-performance solar panels guarantee 80% efficiency in power production. In addition to the rooftop panels, the project includes inverters to convert electricity generated by the modules from direct to alternating current,