SAN ANTONIO – The Shops at La Cantera recently completed of a four-month project to install more than 1,500 solar panels atop the 1.2-million-square-foot landmark retail space.

  • Texas ranks No. 1 among all states in solar energy potential
  • Solar project began in September 2018 
  • Earned a Water Savers Award from SAWS

The 403-kilowatt solar array is expected to generate 590,000 kilowatt hours annually, which represents approximately 23 percent of the property’s power needs.

“A big part of our appeal is that The Shops was built to complement a natural environment, with beautiful water features and immaculate landscaping,” Brian Schroeder, senior general manager at The Shops at La Cantera, said. “We try to take care of the environment and have a beautiful environment. The investment in solar power is a natural extension of our commitment to creating a greener, more sustainable lifestyle space for our tenants and their customers.”

The Shops at La Cantera is entering its 14th year as a premier shopping development offering a mix of luxury and boutique retailers, upscale restaurants and casual eateries, and first-class office space.

The solar project began in September 2018 and went on line in January 2019. North Carolina-based Strata Solar successfully completed rooftop installation of the 1,523 panels without any disruption to property activity or tenant business, Schroeder noted.

Texas ranks No. 1 among all states in solar energy potential, and ranks seventh in installed solar capacity, according to the nonprofit Texas Solar Energy Society.

“We appreciate the leadership demonstrated by The Shops at La Cantera as they join us on our Flexible Path by integrating solar energy into their operations,” Cris Eugster, CPS Energy’s chief operating officer, said. “To make this level of investment without a rebate shows the progress solar energy has made as another viable way to power our community.”

The solar investment is just the latest example of The Shops at La Cantera’s commitment to environmentally sound solutions.

An extreme drought in 2011 led to city of San Antonio water restrictions that forced the lifestyle space to shut down its many beautiful iconic foundations.

Property managers implemented a condensate recapture program from the more than 80 industrial HVAC units on site. It resulted in savings of 1.2 million gallons of potable water annually, which represents a surplus supply of water for the fountains.

No pumps are required to capture the condensate water, which flows naturally downward into collection bins. The Shops at La Cantera earned a Water Savers Award from the San Antonio Water System for this effort.

A couple of years later, the property implemented an innovative landscape renovation program, converting 300,000 square feet of parking lot landscape islands to water-saving plants and drip irrigation. This move along with other landscape re-design resulted in another 3.9 million gallons of water savings annually.

“A walk through the site invites visitors to enjoy the blooming plants and soothing fountains, so it is hard to imagine that they shaved off millions of gallons of water while maintaining these amenities,” SAWS Conservation Director Karen Guz said.

The Shops at La Cantera is also a recipient of the International Council Shopping Centers (ICSC) Innovative Design and Development of a New Project Award.

“Both the solar program and the water savings initiatives at The Shops at La Cantera are the right thing to do for the environment but they are also financially smart as well,” Schroeder said. “We’ve realized a significant savings on our water utility bill, and we fully expect to see a savings on our electric bill over time.”