The clean energy improvements at Las Serenas are a microcosm of the good that can happen when local, state and federal groups work together, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said today at Las Serenas, a San Diego based affordable housing development by Community HousingWorks (CHW) that went solar this summer.

Boxer’s San Diego stop continued a string of visits to highlight “green” energy and job development in the state. On Monday she participated in

Senator Boxer receives gift from children at Las Serenas where solar was installed this summer by Helio Energy Solutions. Photo by Susan Riggs Tinsky

Senator Boxer receives book created by the children at Las Serenas to describe the solar power system installed at their community. The solar installation was done by Helio Energy Solutions. Photo by Susan Riggs Tinsky.

the solar dedication at the Santa Clarita Transit Maintenance Facility. Last week she was in the San Joaquin Valley talking about job creation and green energy at the University of California at Merced.

CHW CEO Susan Reynolds welcomed the senator reminding visitors Boxer has played a leadership role developing green jobs and environmental protection as the first woman to Chair the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works.

In November 2009, Community HousingWorks was awarded the first CA Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) Track 2 grant to install solar energy at Las Serenas. The MASH funds supported the installation of a 67.5 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic facility with 100% of its production going to residents.

CHW worked with Helio Energy Solutions, a California based solar integration firm, to engineer and construct the Las Serenas project. The solar facility will offset approximately 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per unit annually, and save each family over $100 of their anticipated yearly electricity expenses. One resident, Lillian Wellman said, “when my first bill went from $60 a month to $36, it made a huge difference for my family.”

Sen. Barbara Boxer with Las Serenas children.  Photo by Lauren Montague.

Sen. Barbara Boxer with Las Serenas children. Photo by Lauren Montague.

About 40 people attended the recognition event including Paul Kealey, Acting Chief Operating Officer of NeighborWorks America; Irene Stillings, Executive Director for the California Center of Sustainable Design; David Alvarez, San Diego Council member; Karen Bucey, CHW board member and San Diego city planner; Susan Riggs Tinksy, Executive Director for the San Diego Housing Federation and Glenna Wiseman, VP Marketing, Helio Energy Solutions, along with CHW board members, community residents and supporters.

Source: Helio Energy Solutions, Inc.