Affordable Housing Project Gets Solar Electric System

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorBoulder, Colo.–Boulder Housing Partners (BHP), the housing authority of the city of Boulder, in partnership with VisionSun Design, a design and project management consulting firm, has awarded a solar energy contract to Bella Energy to install 1.75 kilowatt solar electric systems at a 30-unit affordable housing project.The 52.5 kilowatt solar electric system will be installed at Diagonal Court Townhouses in North Boulder. Each of the units is individually metered by the local utility, Xcel Energy.The city of Boulder’s Housing Fund, the Colorado Governor Energy Office, and a pilot program for multi-unit solar electric systems from Xcel Energy Solar Rewards Program provided the funds for this project, which is slated to be complete by the end of February 2008.The system will help Diagonal Court save over $7,800 per year on its electricity bills at current rates. “It is a model for the future of energy conservation and affordable housing,” says Tim Beal, director of housing at BHP.Paul Melamed, owner of VisionSun Design, the company that designed the project, says, “Energy costs over the next 25 years are the biggest unknown factor for housing authorities. Solar energy can greatly reduce or eliminate those costs.”