The Carousel Center mall in Syracuse, New York, is planning to cover parking areas with solar panels and says the solar panels will provide up to 12 percent of the power needed to operate the 1.3 million square foot expansion to Carousel Center.

The mall owners recently announced the mall is going green, switching to purchasing its electricity from a provider that gets it from green sources. The mall will buy its electricity from Constellation Energy, a power wholesaler that provides energy supplied from renewable sources such as wind, solar and hydroelectric power. The mall’s owners claim it will be the first super-regional shopping center in the nation to meet its electrical needs with green energy.

The 17-year-old mall is being expanded as part of a new development called Destiny USA. According to the press release (PDF), Destiny USA has formed a partnership with Hereford Capital Advisors to develop and build up to 3.2 megawatts of solar generating capacity within the Destiny USA site.

The photovoltaic (PV) array will be in the form of covered parking located on either side of Solar Street covering over 20 acres, making it the largest solar installation in New York State and the fifth largest installation in the country. The installation will represent over 25% of New Yorks current solar deployment.

Hereford Capital Advisors, based in Denver, is among the leading commercial scale solar project development firms in the US and specializes in the complex capital structuring, system design and project management components unique to the sector. The firm is currently developing a 1.7 mw garage mounted system for Continuum Partners Belmar development in Denver Colorado. The Belmar and Destiny USA projects are two of the four locations designated in the Green Bond legislation to be large-scale demonstration projects for renewable energy and green building design. Hereford is also coordinating solar power installations on other large scale projects at the Colorado Convention Center and Denver International Airport.

I’m surprised more places aren’t doing this. Airports, malls and other public facilities with large parking lots seem like a natural place for installing solar arrays. Even apartment complexes, which with solar panels might be able to use lower energy costs as a selling point to attract renters.

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