Foundation Communities owns and operates 23 affordable-housing communities across Austin and three in North Texas. Currently, the organization plans on opening three new facilities in the next year, with five other projects in various stages of development. The company is invested in sustainability.
“We are a Dept. of Energy Better Buildings Challenge partner and have goals to reduce our energy and water consumption by 20% over 10 years,” said Katelynn Essig, Director of Sustainability at Foundation Communities. “We also have a solar capacity goal to install 1.5 MW, and the solar at Waterloo Terrace helped us meet that goal one year early. We pay the utilities for the 132 single adults that live with us, and the solar savings significantly reduce our operating costs, which allows us to invest that money back into the residents.”
Spear completed a 250-kW system on the Waterloo apartments, using Trina Solar panels and Trina’s C&I Solutions team for project streamlining help.
“By providing a complete solution, we’re making it easier for customers to finance and install large solar projects,” said Adam Jordan, Trina Solar Head of US Commercial Solutions. “When all the equipment is compatible and optimized, including modules, inverters, and racking, projects become less challenging and more profitable.”
“The Trina group I work with sells solar panels, the racking system, and the inverters all together so we don’t have compatibility issues,” said Mark Rangel, Spear Executive Vice President. “And Trina negotiates all pricing with other manufacturers to deliver a solution that is extremely competitive. I see a lot of value in that because we’re a small company. I don’t have a large purchasing department and so it really helps.”
This partnership drew the attention of the producers at Inside the Blueprint, who helped bring the story to life through video. Bob Holodak, Senior Producer and Programming Manager said, “When we spoke with the team at Trina Solar, we saw alignment between our sustainability objectives and their desire to create education highlighting the benefits associated with commercial and industrial solar and renewable energy solutions.”
He continued, “Trina Solar US, Spear, and Foundation Communities made it clear that a more sustainable future and more equitable renewable energy adoption are not mutually exclusive goals. For Inside The Blueprint, having a case study feature an affordable housing project showcasing real cost saving for this communities provides a great example and pathway to expanding these types of projects on a national basis.”
News item from Trina Solar