By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
San Diego–Community HousingWorks (CHW) and Helio Energy Solutions have completed a Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) project at Las Serenas, an affordable housing property in San Diego. Going forward, the 108-unit complex will receive solar energy from the new system, which CHW and Helio Energy Solutions estimate will offset nearly 20 percent of the residents’ annual electricity bills.
MASH is a California green-energy program, and to qualify properties must be occupied for at least two years and must meet certain low-income residential housing qualifications. The major goal of the program is to stimulate the adoption of solar power in the affordable housing sector and thus decrease electricity costs for tenants. CHW is a San Diego-based specialist in affordable housing development that has completed about 1,500 units in 20 years, and Murrieta, Calif.-based Helio Energy Solutions specializes in solar installations.
MASH funds supported the installation of a 67.5-kilowatt DC solar photovoltaic facility at Las Serenas, with 100 percent of its production going to tenants using virtual net metering. The solar facility will offset about 1,000 kilowatt hours per unit annually. In addition, with the installation of a performance monitoring system for each inverter, CHW and Helio Energy Solutions modified the system to offer free wireless Internet access to all residents.