Sherwood Village

Project Information

System Type: Roof Top
Panel Type: Canadian Solar CS6P-200PE
Panel Count: 392
Inverter Type:
System Size: 78.4 kW

Location Information

City: Salinas
State: California

Ecological Impact

Sherwood Village's solar power system will produce enough clean electricity to offset any one of the following over the 25 year life of the system:

The carbon sequestered by
seedlings grown for 10 years.
The CO2 emissions from
gallons of gasoline consumed
The CO2 emissions from
bottles of BBQ propane burned.

Construction is complete on the solar power system at Community Housing Improvement Systems and Planning Association (CHISPA)'s award winning Sherwood Village Senior Apartments in Salinas, CA.  The photovoltaic system was Pacific Gas & Electric’s (PG&E) reservation #1 (PGE- MASH - 00001) in the California Solar Initiative’s Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) Program.

This solar power system was designed and installed by ReGrid, a Real Goods Solar company, and is owned and operated by HelioPower's energy finance division through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).  The solar power system consists of 392 Canadian Solar CS6P-200PE solar photovoltaic modules generating over 102,000 kWh per year for the complex.

The MASH program provides solar incentives for existing multifamily affordable housing projects in California.  The Sherwood Village project leverages MASH’s Track 1A rebate incentive of $3.30 per watt, providing photovoltaic (PV) energy to offset electrical use in common areas of the complex.

“CHISPA works hard to incorporate green design features into each of our developments.  Green design features like solar power can reduce energy costs, stimulate green jobs and act as an example so other developers will also adopt renewable energy technologies,” explained CHISPA Chairman Matt Bogoshian, who is Deputy Secretary for Law Enforcement and Counsel, California Environmental Protection Agency.

“At CHISPA’s Sherwood Village, we are buying solar power from Helio so that we can reduce our carbon footprint without initially owning those panels ourselves.  CHISPA provides the roof space for the solar equipment. Helio’s investors own the panels and we contract to purchase our electric power from them,” Mr. Bogoshian continued.  “This innovative arrangement allows CHISPA to predict its electricity bills and help the environment, without taking on the initial overhead of owning the solar equipment.  At the end of the PPA we have the option to buy the panels and get energy savings way into the future.”

Opened in October 2008, Sherwood Village was converted by CHISPA from a troubled motel into an award-winning affordable senior housing development with energy efficient and environmentally friendly design features.  In March 2008 the California Regional Water Quality Control Board presented CHISPA with a resolution of appreciation for protecting the waters of the Central Coast and for its green sustainable building methods. It was a finalist in the 2008 Readers’ Choice Awards published by Affordable Housing Finance Magazine and won Gold and Special Recognition awards in the National Association of Home Builder’s 2009 Best of 50+ Renovated Housing award.   In 2011, the community won the HUD Secretary’s Opportunity and Empowerment Award presented by American Planning Association.

While Sherwood was designed for solar from the start, financing the project proved difficult.  “Given the financing environment in this economy, implementation of a solar solution at Sherwood Village has had some challenges,” said Doug Payne, Director of Commercial Business Development, for ReGrid Power.  “CHISPA is one of our original and most valued commercial customers since 2006.  This project is a shining example of working with customers, and making a long term commitment to find a path to provide our customers with high quality, cost-effective solar. We are very proud of delivering the 1st MASH rebate solar project to CHISPA, with the support of Helio."

Tom Millhoff, Vice President, Business Development for HelioPower added, “This project showcases our turnkey solar solution for California’s Affordable Housing marketplace.  We are excited to work with CHISPA, ReGrid, PG&E and the CPUC to enable the first reservation under MASH to be secured.”

Pioneering work in virtual net metering (VNM) across multiple common area meters on one property was accomplished for the Sherwood Village project, successfully implementing this relatively new type of metering with Pacific Gas & Electric.

As with most solar energy systems, electricity is directed to a single target meter.  VNM allows PG&E to allocate the solar kWh among multiple meters, even though those meters are not directly connected to the solar energy system.  The solar kWh are, in essence, virtually net-metered through accounting rather than electrically.  At the Sherwood project, the solar installation’s kWh output was distributed across two community meters, thereby enabling the customer to enjoy a greater benefit than that which would have normally been realized by a traditionally net metered solar energy system.