First 100% Solar Powered Community In California Opens


Solara is the first apartment community in California to be fully powered by the sun. The 56-unit apartment community, which opened yesterday, has some pretty impressive green features. The community has rooftop solar arrays that provide 140 kilowatts of power in total. The solar panels provide 100% power for the entire residential complex, and, on some days, provides surplus electricity to feed the region’s power grid.

Solara’s design includes windows that promote cross-ventilation in each apartment, balconies and other overhangs that are designed to shade key areas, energy-efficient water heaters that have no tanks, and toilets that let residents choose how much water they will flush. Other green highlights include extensive water conservation, recycled materials throughout the building, and use of materials that insure good air quality.

The developer claims that Solara has the lowest carbon footprint of any apartment complex in California — 95% lower than a conventionally power community.

People who make 30 percent to 60 percent of the region’s median income are eligible to live at Solara. For a family of four, that works out to an annual income of $41,100 or less; a single person making $28,750 or less also qualifies. Residents pay between $388 and $1,075 per month, depending on their incomes and whether they are renting a one-, two- or three-bedroom apartment. Utilities are included in the rent.

Via: Global Green

Comments 4

  1. Not really ! Solar rays are present even on cold and cloudy days. The PV Cells react to solar energy, not the amount of sunlight.

  2. The average home in the US uses 25 kilowatts. With 56 units, that’s 1400 kilowatts. Assuming these solar panels produce 140 kilowatts/hr, that means it has to be sunny enough 10 hours a day. Kinda hard, but possible.

  3. this is awesome! I wish they had dwellings such as these on the East Coast too!

    California (as a state) realizes what the US Automakers have been resisting: not only is sustainable design/energy efficiency good for the environment, but people of all income levels benefit from the technology…and it doesn’t hurt or hinder business one bit!

    Way to go, California!

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