TENNESSEE SELF STORAGE ASSOCIATION

MEMPHIS SELF STORAGE INVESTS IN SOLAR, PART OF LOCAL SOLAR GROWTH

February 11, 2013 6:24 PM | Melissa Roberts (Administrator)
NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 18, 2013

Contact: Peter Calandruccio: pcalandruccio@lightwavesolar.com; (901) 573-2167

Tennessee Self Storage Association member, Absolute Storage Management (ASM), completed the installation of a 117-module, 28 kilowatt (kW) solar array atop its Midtown Vault Self Storage location in downtown Memphis. The addition of the solar panels will help offset a portion of the building’s monthly operating costs, with an expected return on investment of less than seven years.

“We’ve wanted go solar at Midtown Vault since purchasing the property six years ago. Based on available incentives and decreasing material costs, this year it made economic sense for us to take that step,” said Michael Haugh, managing member/partner for Midtown Vault and president of ASM. “Along with the expected monetary savings, we’re looking forward to cutting down on our carbon footprint.”

Tennessee Self Storage Association member, LightWave Solar, designed and installed the project and connected it to the MLGW power grid on November 30, 2012. Founded in Nashville, LightWave Solar expanded its offices into Memphis last year when they began working on the Agricenter’s megawatt solar project. Since then there has been significant solar growth in the area.

“We’ve completed nearly a dozen installations in and around Memphis since last spring,” said Peter Calandruccio, Solar Consultant with LightWave Solar. “Solar is gaining momentum in Memphis, due in part to attractive incentives and lower solar panel costs.”

ASM took advantage of several incentive programs to help offset the cost of the panels, including a 30 percent federal tax credit, MACRS accelerated depreciation, and an energy buyback incentive from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

As part of the TVA Green Power Providers program, TVA will purchase 100 percent of the solar electricity generated at 9 cents above the retail rate, totaling about 19 cents per kilowatt-hour. The 28 kW system at Midtown Vault will generate approximately 35,000 kilowatt-hours per year, amounting to $7,700 per year at current electric rates. As electric rates increase, so will the income from the solar.

Midtown Vault signed up for TVA’s program last year, so the company receives a 12 cent premium for their solar electricity. Green Power Providers applications approved this year will receive the 9 cent premium. However, program capacity is limited to 7.5 megawatts for 2013, and TVA has already received applications for 20% of program capacity.

“I’m glad that we got into the TVA program,” says Haugh. “It made for a very wise investment since the panels will generate energy for the next 30 years at least.”

The photovoltaic panels are the latest upgrade to the facility, a former telephone-switch building that had sat vacant and decaying for 15 years. Since purchasing the property in 2006, ASM has refurbished the structure and improved the perimeter while maintaining its historic façade. The building houses more than 400 climate-controlled storage units ranging in size from five-by-five to 12-by-20.

The new solar array takes up about one-third of Midtown Vault's roof, allowing for future expansion. The facility is ASM’s second property to employ solar power. East Nashville Self Storage features a similarly sized array. For more information on solar energy, visit www.LightWaveSolar.com or contact Peter Calandruccio at 901-573-2167 or pcalandruccio@lightwavesolar.com.

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About LightWave Solar:
LightWave Solar is the largest area installer of residential and commercial solar PV systems in Tennessee with offices in Nashville, Memphis and Johnson City. Founded in 2006 LightWave Solar has designed and installed over 250 solar projects across the state, including the 1 megawatt system at the Memphis Agricenter. Visit www.lightwavesolar.com to learn more.

Follow on: Twitter.com/LightWaveSolar
Facebook.com/LightWaveSolar
Youtube.com/LightWaveSolar

About Absolute Storage Management (ASM)
Founded and based in Memphis since 2003, ASM manages 70 self-storage facilities across the Southeast, encompassing more than 3.5 million square feet. Properties are in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Visit www.absolutmgmt.com to learn more.

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