Generations LLC announced the installation of an expansive 527.8-kW PV solar system on its resort-style independent, assisted living and memory care community, Paradise Village, in San Diego’s South Bay. Combining solar with a behind-the-meter (BTM) energy storage system, the energy enhancing project will produce approximately 1 million kWh of electricity per year, about 40% of the campus’ annual electricity usage. In addition, an estimated cost savings of $250,000 in both regular and peak demand usage will be provided from the hybrid solar and low-cost battery storage system.
Generations LLC and NW Photon Energy (NWPE), both of Portland, Oregon, partnered on the project which has been in development for three years. According to Kirk Cameron, President of NW Photon Energy, a leading provider, designer and installer of turnkey PV solar systems on the West Coast, this project became viable as a result of four key factors.
The foremost was a healthy ROI with a payback of less than five years. Helping Paradise Village gain control of its energy expenses and eliminate rising utility increases was the second factor. Paradise Village’s qualification for a CPUC Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) rebate covered approximately 5% of the total project cost and the final factor was Generation’s 10-year refinance of a previous $82 million construction loan through Fannie Mae’s Green Rewards program – the first Green Rewards loan backed by a senior housing property. This refinance provided exceptional terms and a reduced interest rate which contributed to the aggressive ROI.
According to Chip Gabriel, President of Development for Generations LLC, the business case for solar was clear to them from both a financial and environmental sense. “With a large percentage of a residential housing community’s operating expenses originating from its energy usage, a sustainable approach to property management is crucial for the long term,” he said. “Adding solar was not only a financial decision but also one framed by the environmental impact that taking care of more than 400 residents creates.” Gabriel views solar as a sustainability enhancement that will allow the company to meet their corporate environmental stewardship goals as well as attract future residents who share their renewable energy objectives.
Generation’s commitment to solar is a continued example of their foresight and approach to property management. They have identified solar as a means to leverage underutilized roof space to improve operating efficiencies for their buildings. “Motivated by their desire to help the environment, control facility costs through attractive state incentives and innovative project financing, Generations LLC is creating a model which other senior living communities, property management firms and property owners can embrace,” said Cameron.
The next phase in Generations’ energy management plan involves identifying additional solar project opportunities. The company recently contracted a third solar system to be installed by NW Photon Energy at its Linfield Village senior living community in Temecula, California.
News item from Generations