Malls get permits for rooftop solar panels

Two big business buildings in the Crossroads area are turning to the sun for at least some of their energy needs.

The Francis Scott Key Mall near Frederick, Md., and the Valley Mall near Hagerstown, Md., are installing roof-mounted solar arrays, according to building permit applications.

Each project is valued at more than $2 million.

“In addition to saving money and being able to pass that on to our tenants, we really appreciate that solar energy is derived from a truly natural, renewable resource,” said Heather Crowell, senior vice president of corporate communications and investor relations for Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, which owns the malls.

“Installing solar arrays represent several great opportunities for PREIT: First and foremost, to be more socially responsible by reducing our carbon footprint,” Crowell said in an email. “From an economic perspective, it allows us to monetize our rooftops and reduce our energy costs as well.”

Crowell said PREIT has installed solar panels at some of its other properties as well, as business opportunities present themselves.

The Frederick system is rated at 2,136 kilowatts, while the Valley Mall system is rated at 2,060 kilowatts.