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Nuveen Partners with Safari Energy on Strategic Solar Portfolio

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 Nuveen Real Estate has partnered with Safari Energy to develop the company's own solar resources. After pledging to make all existing and future assets carbon neutral by 2040, Nuveen is targeting to offset 90% of its energy use with solar.
Nuveen Partners with Safari Energy on Strategic Solar Portfolio
Natick, MA 2.8 MW; rooftop and parking deck solar (Safari Energy)

"Nuveen has set out an ambitious vision for decarbonizing one of the world's largest real estate portfolios, requiring renewable energy sources like on-site solar, which can contribute to asset value, while delivering on environmental objectives," says John Lind, Managing Director, Safari Energy. "At Safari Energy, we're using advanced technology for a more efficient and accurate deployment, delivering superior operational and financial results for Nuveen."

A focus on energy reduction has been the bedrock of Nuveen's approach to sustainable real estate investment and management for well over a decade. In 2020, the firm was recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy as a Better Buildings Challenge Goal Achiever for outperforming its 10-year commitment to reduce portfolio-wide energy-use intensity by at least 2 percent annually, across its 30 million sq ft U.S. real estate portfolio. Additionally, in March 2021, the firm published its pathway to achieve net zero carbon across its real estate portfolio by 2040, ten years ahead of the Paris Agreement goals.

"Having a partner like Safari Energy supports our objective to embed ESG considerations in our investment decisions and business plans, making progress toward our net zero carbon milestones," says Jessica Long, Head of Sustainability for U.S. Real Estate at Nuveen. "Our teams need to know quickly if there is an opportunity for solar during transaction underwriting and asset managers are looking for ways to engage potential tenants during lease negotiations. Safari provides us with the expertise and immediate feedback that is critical in the fast paced real estate investment process."

Nuveen began working with Safari Energy in 2020, when more than 300 megawatts (MW) of solar potential was identified on its real property. Since then, Safari Energy has commenced two projects at Nuveen properties, including a rooftop solar system being built at an industrial facility in Nashville, TN, and a hybrid solar + battery storage system being added to a property in Redlands, CA.

Safari Energy takes a strategic and systematic approach to solar development. An initial property screening is conducted by Safari Energy's proprietary artificial intelligence platform. This enables the team to identify ideal solar rooftop, parking lot, parking deck and ground mounted opportunities.

Nuveen also has access to a bespoke technology platform that Safari Energy designed, integrating multiple systems, and keeping various teams in sync on tasks. Safari Energy works directly with Nuveen's asset managers and tenants to coordinate permits, construction schedules and project statuses.

Safari Energy is part of PPL Corporation, one of the largest regulated utility companies in the U.S. Safari Energy has developed or acquired more than 500 commercial scale solar projects nationwide. Spanning 24 states and Washington, D.C., Safari Energy's projects have generated more than 618,000 megawatt-hours of electricity, or the equivalent of avoiding more than 437,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.

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