The project, which began in 2017, will offset the facility’s energy usage by 70% and is expected to generate 3,632,773 kWh annually. By generating their own power onsite, the solution provides more stability for energy costs – and creates more opportunities for savings.
“Shelter creek is a good example of how even older facilities can be sustainable with some enhancements,” says Chris Covell, head of Centrica Business Solutions North America. “The way we generate and consume energy is changing and Centrica Business Solutions’s goal is to help customers through that change so they can be more carbon neutral through energy efficiency, solar+storage and electric vehicle (EV) innovations.”
Shelter Creek Condominiums is a sustainable community and one of the largest multi-family developments in San Mateo County. The 1,296 condominium style homes sit on 46 acres and are built around open reserve areas. Over the past decade, management has been on a mission to transform the 45-year-old facility into one of the most sustainable communities on the west coast. In addition to having solar panels, they have installed 5,600 LED lights to common areas, added bee hives to improve the local ecosystem and have EV charging stations available to residents.
The solar system benefits from 25-year workmanship warranties and production guarantees. It was funded through a power purchase agreement (PPA) – a low-maintenance financing option which meant the system required no capital outlay. Shelter Creek pays for the electricity generated by the system at a set, discounted kWh price for the term of the contract. This provides the community with long-term predictability over their energy costs, protecting them against future price increases in utilities and enabling Shelter Creek to pass cost savings on to their residents.