BXP to Add Solar Canopy Atop Reston Town Center Parking Garage

Solar operator Ameresco will build and manage the energy system


The greater Washington, D.C., area can’t get enough solar power these days.

That’s the mentality of BXP, the company formerly known as Boston Properties, which leased the roof of a parking garage in Reston, Va., to renewable energy developer Ameresco to develop a solar-powered energy system.

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The planned solar canopy, which will be mounted to the top of the (conveniently titled) Green parking garage at Reston Town Center, is expected to add 1.3 megawatts of on-site solar generation, which will in turn produce an estimated 1.5 million kilowatt-hours of energy per year, or enough to power about 200 homes, according to BXP. 

That energy, which is expected to eliminate roughly 450 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, will be used exclusively at Reston Town Center. 

BXP, a real estate investment trust (REIT), and Ameresco are partnering with an unnamed local client for the project. 

“With great partners like our client and Ameresco we can transform a parking garage into a megawatt-scale solar energy plant,” said Ben Myers, senior vice president of sustainability at BXP, in a statement. “This project  delivers social, economic and environmental benefits over a long term by providing zero-emissions clean power, competitive energy pricing, and covered parking for clients and visitors at the Town Center.”

The project is expected to finish construction by the end of this year. 

BXP is one of the largest publicly traded workspace developers and managers in the country, with a portfolio of over 53 million square feet focused on six major cities, including Washington, D.C. In October, the company, together with Blackstone Partners, sold the 12-story, 654,000-square-foot Metropolitan Square in Downtown D.C. to Artemis Real Estate Partners for $305 million. 

The D.C. metro area has been the home of several other major solar power projects as of late. In November, Amazon revealed two such projects in Maryland, called CPV Backbone and Morgnec, as part of its effort to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. The former, named after the nearby Backbone Mountain, is expected to be the largest solar farm in Maryland with over 300,000 panels, while the latter is planned for some 400 acres near the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay. 

Nick Trombola can be reached at NTrombola@commercialobserver.com.