Roof top solar gaining popularity on warehouses

They're big and flat and perfect for solar panels.

Which is why an increasing number of distribution centers are finding second uses as energy providers. ProLogis, with 475 million square feet of industrial space worldwide, is into it big-time, having agreements to sell the power to utility companies.

"We continue to see demand for our rooftops because they are ideally suited for solar installations and are immediately available for that purpose...This demonstrates that large-scale distributed generation is a real solution to today's renewable energy needs," vice president of renewable energy Drew Torbin said recently when announcing a project that covers seven buildings in Portland and feeds Portland General Electric's system.

That is the second project in Portland with PGE. Together, they provide enough power for 388 households annually.

ProLogis now has solar projects installed or under construction on more than 30 buildings in the United States, France, Germany, Japan and Spain. It just announced a new rooftop deal with Southern California Edison for 11 buildings in Southern Califonia.

That project follows one a couple years ago in Fontana. Here's a Riverside Press-Enterprise story on that deal.

The central San Joaquin Valley is a major hub for distribution centers, and there are some pretty big warehouses here. That makes one wonder if something similar could occur here. Why not have these buildings do double duty?

The San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization is a nonprofit dedicated to improving our region's quality of life by increasing its production and use of clean energy. The SJVCEO works with cities and counties and public and private organizations to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout the eight-county region of the San Joaquin Valley