Generations LLC, a provider of retirement and assisted living communities, has added a 527.8 kW solar PV system on its facility in National City, Calif., located in San Diego’s South Bay.
The solar and behind-the-meter energy storage system was installed at Paradise Village, a resort-style assisted living and memory care community with 394 units in seven four-story residential buildings. Generations LLC and NW Photon Energy, both of Portland, Ore., partnered on the project, which comprises 1,466 solar panels.
The project is expected to produce approximately 1 million kWh of electricity per year, roughly 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 battery storage system.
According to Kirk Cameron, president of NW Photon Energy, a designer and installer of turnkey PV solar systems on the West Coast, this project became viable as a result of several key factors. The first was a healthy return on investment 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 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.
According to Chip Gabriel, president of Development for Generations LLC, the business case for solar was clear 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,” says Gabriel. “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.”
The system will be commissioned this Thursday, April 26, by Mayor Ron Morrison of National City.