By Anuradha Kher, Online News Editor
San Francisco–Sunwheel Energy Partners, which provides turnkey solar energy systems for urban and community partners, has commissioned solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at three affordable housing community sites in San Francisco’s Western Addition and Hayes Valley neighborhoods. This effort also brings green jobs and financial relief to residents and owners.
The solar installations at Hayes Valley North and South and Plaza East were developed by Sunwheel Energy Partners and enabled by the California Solar Initiative’s MASH (Multi-family Affordable Solar Housing) program, GoSolarSF, and the federal New Markets Tax Credits and solar Investment Tax Credit programs. These projects implemented California’s new Virtual Net Metering tariff, allowing the electricity and cost savings to be shared with resident families.
Sunwheel’s California solar projects now generate over 2.3 million kWhs of clean, renewable electricity annually, eliminating nearly two million pounds of CO2 emissions each year and lowering the cost of electricity for the 1,500 families living in the sites’ communities.
“We believe in bringing renewable energy to affordable housing here in San Francisco and around the country, not just for energy sustainability, but to bring real economic benefits and jobs to families,” says Jonathan Goldstein, president and founder of Sunwheel.
“When we first started talking about solar in San Francisco, there were a lot of mega-words, but not a lot of mega-watts,” says Phil Ting, SF Assessor-Recorder. “This project shows what can happen when the federal government, housing authority, public utilities commission and tax credits work together with state and city government. Creating jobs is especially hard in this economy, and the fact that this project employed people from this neighborhood with 14,000 work-hours cannot be understated. It changes lives.”
“I want to thank the residents of Hayes Valley North and South and Plaza East for coming together to transcend any invisible turf lines and put into action those mega-words,” said San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, at the opening of the solar projects. “It is uplifting to see the electricity generated by the spirited drive of people motivating themselves to implement an innovative idea we’ve heard on the national stage and put to work on a street level.”