1.12 million euro financing for equipping 22 business parks and commercial properties with solar panels

May 26, 2022

The real estate group Realto has attracted financing from BluOr Bank in the amount of 1,116,000 euros, which will be spent on the installation of solar panels at 22 facilities managed by the company – business parks and other commercial buildings throughout Latvia. The total cost of implementing this ambitious green energy project reaches almost EUR 1.58 million, and the company plans to recover the investment in the next 6-7 years.

“Both large and small and medium-sized enterprises are currently showing great interest in various projects aimed at sustainable development. As costs grow, entrepreneurs are looking for alternatives and ways to optimize heating, electricity, fuel and other costs. Business support remains one of the bank’s priorities in lending. In addition, with new regulations that banks have to take into account, each corporate lending request is also analysed from a sustainability perspective,” says Marina Antonova, Head of Lending Department at BluOr Bank.

Realto is one of the leading groups of real estate companies in Latvia, whose business parks and centres have a total leasable area around 300,000 sq.m. Their tenants are more than 850 companies from various business sectors, including electronic communications, metal processing, food production, printing, pharmaceutics.

The project provides for the installation of 4,949 solar panels on the roofs of Realto business centres and other commercial buildings. The company has already installed the first solar panels in Riga, Liepaja and Vecumnieki, and will further equip the roofs of its business parks and commercial structures in Riga, Sigulda, Kuldiga, Skrunda, Bauska, Ventspils, Iecava and Druva. The project is planned to be fully implemented within a year – by mid-2023.

“Green thinking is one of the core values of our company. The buildings we own mostly have their own history. We try to implement the principles of sustainability and green thinking in reconstruction processes as well, renovating these former industrial and production buildings to meet the requirements of the modern environment, and revealing their space in a new quality. The decision to install solar panels, of course, was also facilitated by the current situation in the world, urging us to look for opportunities to be independent in matters of energy resources. In the long run, the solar panel installation project will significantly reduce the costs of buildings and tenants, as well as provide greater freedom in building management. This decision of the company will have a positive long-term impact on the environment, and we are confident that our tenants will appreciate this benefit in the near future”, notes Agnese Rutka, Head of Real Estate Department at Realto.

All 22 facilities where solar panels are to be installed are commercial buildings, where offices, warehouses, production, trading and service companies are located. Energy from the panels will be used for the needs of the building and tenants. The project plans to use high-power solar panels capable of generating over 11 kW. SIA “Tesla” is responsible for the technical side of the project and the installation of solar panels.

It is planned that all 22 facilities will produce more than 2,000 MWh of electricity per year. According to the designers’ estimates, the implementation of the project will significantly reduce the environmental impact of real estate managed by the company – total CO2 emissions will decrease by more than 790 tons per year.

The funds invested in the project are planned to be recouped in the next 6-7 years. At the same time, after the implementation of this project, Realto plans to install solar panels on its other properties. The company estimates that after the implementation of the first stage of the project, solar electricity will account for 15-20% of the energy consumed at specific properties. Basically, all the energy generated by solar panels will be used at the same facilities where they are installed, but depending on the amount of energy produced and spent, about 10% of the energy produced could go into the shared electricity grid.

Realto is currently implementing other environmentally friendly solutions. The company’s fleet, for example, uses electric vehicles to perform the necessary administrative and management functions. Electric charging stations have already been installed in several Realto-owned business centres and quarters. The company also continuously improves the energy efficiency of the buildings it manages.

A series of significant green projects are also planned in the near future. At several Realto sites, a feasibility study for the installation of heat pumps is currently underway, and it is also planned to install hot water collectors. Furthermore, the company is working on research and development of a wind turbine installation project.

“The real estate market has long been affected by various external shocks. As costs grow, the price remains one of the determining factors for tenants when choosing commercial premises. At the same time, this trend is rapidly changing as the expenses for electricity, heating and other costs increase, as well as due to the growing public awareness of the benefits of using green energy. We feel that there is also a growing interest among our tenants in finding possible solutions to reduce costs. While at the same time, concern for the environment is consistent with the business philosophy of many companies that are our tenants. Therefore, we believe that these investments will improve the long-term competitiveness of our managed properties in the commercial rental market,” says Agnese Rutka, Head of Real Estate Department at Realto.

As the lessor of commercial premises, “Realto” ensures development and management of its properties, taking care of the buildings, their utilities and the surrounding territories. “Realto” offers its tenants commercial buildings with production, trade and warehouse premises, hangars, various investment facilities, as well as apartments, houses and land plots in Riga and other districts of Latvia. The company manages the following properties in Riga – Braslas Business Center, Braslas Industrial Park, Manufacture, Film Studio, Čiekurkalna Quarter, Hansa Gates, Bieķensalas Business Park, Ferrum Center, KUBI Business Park, Provodnik Quarter and others.