Gardner Capital has announced its commitment to offering cheap, reliable and clean energy to its entire multifamily housing portfolio by 2025 by increasing investments in and expanding its already sizable solar energy portfolio.
In addition, Gardner Capital pledged to offer access to renewable energy systems to all new housing construction beginning in 2021. The pilot project in this program was completed at the end of 2019 with the installation of the 162kWdc solar array on the roof at its new Gala at Oak Crest Estates property in Euless, Texas. The Gala at Oak Crest Estates solar array provides access to clean energy and cheaper electric bills – as the pilot program is expanded, the clean and lower cost energy will eventually allow for a direct benefit to tenants through a reduction in overall electricity costs – a benefit that is otherwise quite unique in the multifamily industry. Citibank and Regions Bank were the financial partners with Gardner Capital for the Gala at Oak Crest Estates. As the pilot program is expanded, Gardner Capital will partner with other national banking and investment partners with ESG priorities and commitments, while also providing additional investment capital, as well as targeted grants, through Gardner Capital’s Alternative Investments Group.
“Renewable energy and business model innovation are key components of our work across the country, and we are proud to share our company’s commitment to 100% clean energy for our portfolio and across our platform,” said Michael Gardner, President and CEO of Gardner Capital. “As we continue to grow our solar portfolio, we are successfully supporting and transforming communities, businesses, individuals, focusing on upward mobility and moving toward a cleaner future…and we couldn’t be more excited to be starting this new program in our home state of Texas.” Beyond the commitment to sustainability, the long term plan from Gardner Capital will ultimately result in a material reduction in electric utility expenses for tenants within the Gardner Capital portfolio.
The combination of on-site solar systems along with larger community solar facilities should allow for Gardner Capital to not only meet its commitment to 100% Clean Energy well before its target date, but also allow for a shorter time period to meet Gardner Capital’s commitment to a full carbon offset for all operating facilities, as well as the more carbon intensive construction activities that are inherent in the development of new housing. Ultimately, over the next decade, Gardner Capital will bring online another 800 MW of solar energy, bringing Gardner Capital’s total developed capacity of solar generation to over 1 GW by 2030.
Gardner Capital’s existing multifamily housing, solar development and Alternative Investment businesses uniquely position the Gardner Capital Platform to deliver on its commitment to sustainability on an expedited timeline. To date, Gardner Capital has developed more than 250MW of solar energy projects across the US. Gardner Capital’s solar team estimates this new strategic initiative focused on multifamily will add a minimum of 10MW to its portfolio and enable Gardner Capital to deliver clean electricity directly to projects and families, while also providing substantial and ongoing savings on their electric bills.