The largest Multi-family Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) project in San Diego (so far) has been completed at Mayberry Townhomes, a 70-unit affordable rental property in the Southcrest neighbohood. Mayberry is owned and managed by the MAAC Project, a multi-function social service agency that, among many other initiatives, owns affordable housing in greater San Diego.
The 203-kilowatt installation is in the San Diego Gas & Electric service area and uses 17 separate virtual net-metering arrangements. Electricity produced at Mayberry Townhomes goes 100 percent to the tenants, with the result that tenants’ electricity bills from SDG&E will now be zero. The system thus helps the property’s low-income tenants spend less money on living costs.
Everyday Energy, which specializes in photovoltaic solar and energy-efficiency projects for the multifamily market, did the installation. An agreement with MAAC Project made it possible for the company to finish the installation with no upfront costs to the agency. Besides the solar system, MAAC and Everyday Energy partnered to install a new roof for the property.
The Oceanside, Calif.-based Everyday Energy also worked with MAAC Project and Youth Build to create a solar training program at Mayberry Townhomes that supports workforce development. Everyday Energy and Youth Build sponsored a training class for low-income individuals to learn about solar installation, which resulted in the solar-energy company hiring two people from the program as full-time crew members.
As part of its drive to create renewable sources of energy, California has been pushing ahead with various programs, despite the state’s recent financial woes. MASH is part of the California Solar Initiative and as such provides solar rebates to offset the installation costs on qualifying multifamily affordable housing buildings. The California Public Utilities Commission created the program in 2008 using half of the $216 million set aside for low-income photovoltaic incentives by the state.