Solar power keeps rent low at Sacramento apartments

This post was originally published in 2014. The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.

Arbor Creek Family Apartments, a recently built affordable housing complex south of Sacramento, California, has taken great steps to keep the bills low for its residents.

One of six rooftop arrays now in place at Arbor Creek Family Apartments.

One of six rooftop arrays now in place at Arbor Creek Family Apartments.

Beyond the basics like Energy Star-rated appliances, ceiling fans and high-quality windows, Arbor Creek took their commitment to affordable living one big step further: installing a 72 kW solar system across six of the complex’s buildings.

Lean and green

The energy produced by the solar system accounts for an incredible 80 percent of the complex’s demands, including fully offsetting the power for the community center, clubroom and resource center.

Commissioned in October 2013, the system generates more than 98,000 kWh per year from 288 Canadian Solar 250-watt modules and ten Sunny Boy 7000-US inverters.

When residents first moved into the 102-unit complex, they were astounded by the new, high-quality amenities available for such low-cost rent. Property owners USA Properties developed the complex to ensure residents could afford to live in a positive environment, creating such a demand that all units were rented within weeks of the complex’s grand opening.

Some of the Sunny Boy inverters sit waiting to make power during the installation process.

Some of the Sunny Boy inverters sit waiting to make power during the installation process.

More than just affordable

As the owner-operator of the complex, USA Properties has every reason to ensure Arbor Creek remains a thriving community. That commitment means ensuring the complex and its amenities will stand the test of time, too. Beutler Corporation, who installed the solar system, recommended inverters they knew first-hand would perform today, tomorrow and beyond their expectations.

Just as they committed to investing in a state-of-the-art complex, USA Properties has also decided to invest in their residents by offering a scholarship program for tenants continuing their education at local colleges or trade schools.

The Arbor Creek apartments have taken all the right steps to not only serve the South Sacramento community, but become an integral member of it. With any luck, there will be lots of sunny days ahead for the complex and its residents.

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