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Gil Alexander, an SCE spokesman, tells GlobeSt.com that thesolar array on the roof of the ProLogis building is the first stepin the utility's $875-million program to generate 250 megawatts ofelectricity with solar panels on 65 million sf of commercialproperty roofs in California. SCE expects to take about five yearsto complete the installations, which will produce enough power toserve approximately 162,000 homes. The installation at the ProLogisbuilding in Fontana, which is at the REIT's Kaiser DistributionPark, will generate enough electricity to power approximately 1,300homes, Alexander tells GlobeSt.com.

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[IMGCAP(2)]The deal for SCE to lease the rooftop space fromProLogis links the largest electric utility in California with thelargest industrial owner and developer in SouthernCalifornia. JohnE. Bryson, chairman and CEO of SCE parent company EdisonInternational, says that SCE hopes to begin generating its firstpower from the rooftop installation in August. Alexander tellsGlobeSt.com that the summer startup of the solar plant will matchideally with the demand for electricity, which peaks in August andSeptember in Southern California.

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Alexander explains that the rooftop generation system alsoprovides a number of other advantages. Among them: the power isgenerated right where it is needed, eliminating the need fortransmission over long distances; the solar panels produce the mostelectricity when the sun is hottest, which is also when demand isgreatest; and thanks to advances in technology, the costs areprojected to be half that of common photovoltaic installations inCalifornia.

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What all of this means for ProLogis and other owners ofbuildings with big rooftops is, in the words of ProLogis chairmanand CEO Jeffrey H. Schwartz, a combination of a "breakthrough solarenergy program" and an opportunity for building owners likeProLogis to "support our own sustainability goals and leverageexisting assets."

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Schwartz points out that ProLogis has the capability to supportSCE's ongoingrequirements and will help to fulfill the program'sneed for vast amounts of roof space. The REIT owns 180 distributionfacilities in SCE's territory comprising more than 41 million sf,the majority of which is eligible for SCE's program.

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Alexander tells GlobeSt.com that SCE is in discussions withmultiple property owners in the Inland Empire and other parts ofits service territory. One reason the Inland Empire is such a goodcandidate for the solar generating plants, according to Alexander,is that besides having millions of square feet of rooftop space itis also one of the fastest-growing regions of California and henceone of the places that most needs more electrical power.

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When ProLogis and SCE gathered at the Fontana building for theirjoint announcement, Alexander says, officials of the two firmsstood in the middle not only of one of the world's largestconcentrations of distribution space but also in the middle of whatis potentially one of the largest concentrations of solar powergenerating facilities. "From right where we stood, you could see 14million sf of rooftops," he said.

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