PG&E to fund $10.3 million in new multifamily rooftop solar projects

Pacific Gas & Energy

Pacific Gas and Electric Company is making $10.3 million available for the Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) Program, which offers rebates for affordable solar energy to families in disadvantaged communities across Northern and Central California. Supported by the MASH program, solar energy can lower monthly energy costs for tenants, improve the quality of low-income multifamily housing and drive more clean energy in the state.

Through the MASH program, PG&E offsets the costs of installing new solar energy systems on multifamily affordable housing buildings, providing clean energy for tenants as well as in common areas like hallways, stairwells and laundry rooms. On average, the program financially supports about 40 percent of the solar system equipment and installation for an apartment building.

In addition to expanding solar energy in disadvantaged communities, the MASH program also increases job training in the clean energy industry by requiring at least one trainee work on each project.

Since it started in 2008, the program has:

• Directly benefitted more than 3,600 families across Northern and Central California
• Provided $33 million in funding for rooftop solar on multifamily buildings like apartments and condos
• Supplied about 15 megawatts of solar energy, equivalent to powering more than 6,000 homes

How the program works

Typically, solar contractors apply for the MASH program on behalf of property owners of multifamily developments in disadvantaged communities. After the solar system is installed, the MASH program provides financial rebates based on the size of the system and how much of the solar energy is allocated to tenants. The benefits of solar can be split among the tenants and common areas, with residents seeing lower monthly bills as they use solar for electricity during the day.

Any building with customers participating in the MASH program are required to go through an energy efficiency audit to ensure their facility is energy efficient before going solar, which can save money in upfront costs by allowing for smaller solar systems. Additionally, tenants are informed of energy efficiency programs they may be eligible for, such as PG&E’s Energy Savings Assistance Program that offers free energy-saving improvements for customers on PG&E’s California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) Program.

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Nautilus Solar installing portfolio of commercial solar projects for Kilroy Realty

Nautilus Solar

Kilroy Realty Corp., a West Coast REIT, and Nautilus Solar Energy LLC, a national solar project development and asset management company, are breaking ground on a portfolio of commercial solar developments spread across 9 of Kilroy’s class A office properties located between Southern and Northern California. The decision to develop solar projects for each property leverages the respective strengths of each party and extends their common vision towards building a sustainable future.

The commercial solar developments, which will total 5.2 MW DC when complete, will consist of solar carport and rooftop applications located at Kilroy’s commercial office properties in San Diego, San Francisco, Menlo Park and Long Beach, California. The sites will begin construction in Q2 2017 with most of the sites reaching final completion during 2017 and a final rooftop site on a newly constructed building expecting to reach final completion by early 2018.

“We chose to work with Nautilus Solar because of their exceptional track record of successfully developing and financing complex commercial solar developments in the U.S.” said Sara Neff, Senior Vice President of sustainability at KRC. “This solar portfolio will complement our longstanding commitment to reducing energy consumption throughout our buildings.”

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“This initial development represents both organizations’ continued devotion to making a real difference towards deploying renewable energy,” said Jim Rice, CEO and co-founder of Nautilus Solar Energy. “We’re very pleased to provide a solution for KRC that allows them to achieve their sustainability goals in an economic manner and look forward to expanding our relationship,” added Jeffrey Cheng, COO of Nautilus.

Founded in 2006, Nautilus Solar Energy, headquartered in Summit, N.J., focuses on acquiring, developing, executing and managing distributed and utility-scale generation solar projects throughout North America. Over its 10 year history, Nautilus has invested in over 125 MW of solar projects located throughout the United States and Canada.

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Details of Legend Solar’s project agreement with Thanksgiving Point nonprofit

In a continued effort to think green, conserve energy and create a more enjoyable environment for guests, Thanksgiving Point reached an agreement with Utah’s Legend Solar to equip the Museum of Ancient Life with a 1,500 solar panel array. The solar installation will provide a savings of $1.5 million in power bills during the lifetime of the panels, which is an estimated 60 percent of the current power usage of the museum.

Legend Solar

Legend Solar co-founders Shane Perkins and Shaun Alldredge pull the cover off of a temporary sign atop the Museum of Ancient Life in the newly renamed Legend Solar Building Saturday, April 22, 2017 in Lehi, Utah. Legend Solar and Thanksgiving Point unveiled a new ten-year partnership agreement during an Earth Day event held at the Museum of Ancient Life in the Legend Solar Building Saturday, April 22, 2017 in Lehi, Utah.

“This agreement with Legend Solar creates a wonderful relationship with Thanksgiving Point,” said Mike L Washburn, CEO of Thanksgiving Point. “As we strive to better our property for guests, this relationship also allows us to soften our global footprint as well. We’re very excited to partner with Legend Solar.”

Highlights of the agreement include:

  • 10-year agreement that includes $2 million to support the mission of Thanksgiving Point.
  • The museum will now be called the Museum of Ancient Life in the Legend Solar Building.
  • Ongoing marketing support for Legend Solar with Thanksgiving Point printed publications and social media.
  • I-15 digital marquee recognition for Legend Solar as partner with Thanksgiving Point.

Beginning in January 2018, 167 panels will be installed to the museum’s roof. Each subsequent year another 167 (minimum) panels will be added. Upon completion, the museum will generate 450 kilowatts of power.

This is the third sponsored solar installation Legend Solar has signed in Utah. The company previously announced a $10 million sponsorship and 1,500-kilowatt system for Dixie State University, and became the official solar provider of BYU Athletics, a sponsorship that includes an 800-kilowatt solar power system.

“As a clean energy company, Legend Solar is delighted to join in partnership with Thanksgiving Point as we educate people about the benefits of solar power,” said Shaun Alldredge, co-founder and co-owner of Legend Solar. “We are excited to help support Thanksgiving Point’s mission to ‘cultivate transformative family learning.’”

This 450-kilowatt solar installation will create an environmental impact that is the equivalent of removing 3,169 cars from the road for one year, planting 388,853 tree seedlings or providing enough energy to power 2,216 homes for a year.

The Museum of Ancient Life houses North America’s largest display of mounted dinosaurs, including 60 complete dinosaur skeletons. It is also home to more than 50 hands-on displays for guests to learn about all eras of dinosaurs.

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Chicago steps up: City buildings to run on 100 percent renewable energy by 2025

A group of Chicago’s political leaders jointly announced their commitment to move their buildings’ electricity use to 100 percent renew-able energy by 2025 this week. When implemented, Chicago will be the largest major city in the country to have a 100 percent renewable energy supply for its public buildings.

“As the Trump administration pulls back on building a clean energy economy, Chicago is doubling down,” Mayor Emanuel said. “By committing the energy used to power our public buildings to wind and solar energy, we are sending a clear signal that we remain committed to building a 21st century economy here in Chicago.”

Plan details

Chicago solar energy plan

Lots of lights to power!

Collectively the City, CPS, the Park District, CHA, & CCC used nearly 1.8 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2016, amounting to eight percent of all electricity use in Chicago; it is the equivalent to powering approximately 295,000 Chicago homes. The electricity used by these agencies is the same amount of energy created by over 300 wind turbines in one year. The commitment will be met through a combination of acquiring renewable energy credits, utility-supplied renewable energy via Illinois’ Renewable Portfolio Standard, and on-site generation. Initial purchases will begin in 2018 and 2019.

“Today’s action is a historic step forward in establishing Chicago as a clean energy leader,” said Jack Darin, Illinois Sierra Club President. “By moving boldly to repower its public buildings with renewable energy like wind and solar, Chicago is leading by example at a time when local leader-ship is more important than ever. While President Trump and his administration would reverse America’s progress on climate change and clean energy, Mayor Emanuel is ensuring that Chicago will move forward, and that its residents will benefit from the good jobs and cleaner air that come from renewable energy projects. We look forward to working with the Mayor, community leaders, and the people of Chicago to achieve this bold goal on the path to eventually powering all of Chicago with 100% clean energy.”

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Mayor Emanuel announced Chicago’s new commitment on the rooftop of Shedd Aquarium, which has installed over 900 solar panels in an effort to reduce their energy use by 50 percent by 2020. As a member of Mayor Emanuel’s Retrofit Chicago Energy Challenge, Shedd Aquarium has also retrofitted nearly 1,000 of its own light bulbs to LED and installed a 60,000 pound, one-megawatt battery on their own property.

The City and its sister agencies have already made significant strides to green their energy sup-ply. In 2013, the City eliminated coal from the over 1 billion kilowatt hours in electricity it buys on an annual basis. A dozen CPS schools have had solar arrays installed since 2009, while the Park District and City Colleges currently procure large portions of their energy use from renewable sources.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the City of Chicago earned a 2017 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award. It is given annually to honor organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency.

— Solar Builder magazine

IGS Solar partners with financial group to work on new portfolio of solar projects

Financial services group ORIX USA formed a partnership with IGS Solar (IGS), a turnkey commercial and residential solar provider. Together, ORIX and IGS will develop, acquire and operate a nationwide portfolio of commercial and industrial solar energy generation products across the United States.

IGS SolarCommitted to growing its renewable energy business in the United States, ORIX has partnered with IGS to invest in an initial group of assets that includes 13 solar energy projects across seven states that are either in operation or currently under construction.

The two companies expect to continue to grow the portfolio, making additional investments in projects within the coming months.

“Together with IGS, we are well-positioned to rapidly expand our portfolio of renewable energy assets,” said Barry Gold, Managing Director and Head of ORIX Infrastructure and Renewable Energy. “ORIX has a long history of investing in a broad array of infrastructure assets—specifically renewable energy generation. Investing in solar projects is especially attractive given our ability to utilize both the tax and cash benefits directly. Being part of the ORIX Corporation group, we have substantial resources, capital and industry expertise to put behind infrastructure and renewable energy assets.”

Scott White, President and CEO of IGS, said, “Our alignment with ORIX fits closely with our long-term approach. We share the same culture of innovation, commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences and dedication to making solar accessible, particularly to organizations that haven’t previously been able to consider it due to the upfront costs.”


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