Pietra Apartments in Phoenix Goes Green with New Solar Array

Phoenix–Westplan Investors and Wood Partners, owners of Pietra Apartments in Phoenix, are taking advantage of the powerful rays of sunlight that beam down on the city year-round with the recently installed 47,000-watt solar array at the 237-unit luxury multifamily property.

Westplan and Wood Partners tapped Mark-Taylor Residential, manager of the five-year-old apartment community at 19625 north Cave Creek Rd. in north Phoenix, to orchestrate the project, which took just six weeks to complete. The team turned to Renewvia Energy Corp. to fit the collection of photovoltaic panels, which now provides power for the property’s common areas, including the leasing office and clubhouse.

“Energy efficiency of systems, such as heating, cooling, lighting and appliances, is crucial to having a green, high-performance multifamily project,” Ashley Katz, communications manager with the U.S. Green Building Council, tells MHN. “Investing in clean energy generation, like solar, is an effective way to reduce your project’s electrical load.”

Not only is the Pietra’s solar array big on size, it is big on savings. By generating more than of 75,000 kilowatt hours yearly, the PV panels will allow the owners to pocket $20,000 they would have otherwise spent on energy expenses. Pietra’s owners have not revealed the price tag attached to the installation; however, the partners did disclose that they relied on rebates provided through the APS Renewable Energy Incentive Program to help mitigate the cost of the endeavor.

The notion of installing solar arrays on apartment rooftops is becoming increasingly popular in sun-drenched states. The University of Southern California, the University of California-Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Business Council and the U.S. Department of Housing recently released a study concluding that solar power on apartment building rooftops could create up to 300 megawatts of clean power within the City of Los Angeles over the next five to 10 years. At its Sustainability Summit in April, the L.A. Business Council revealed a pilot program that could pave the way for the installation of solar rooftops at apartment properties citywide by 2012.

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