Habitat for Humanity Goes Solar in California

East Bay Habitat for Humanity (EBHFH), a non-profit residential housing developer, will begin construction in 2003 on 26 housing units with solar electric systems designed to provide most if not all of each low-income family’s annual electricity needs.

Oakland, California – March 4, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] According to Lisa Boege of EBHFH, the 26 homes, to be placed on in-fill lots in Oakland and nearby Livermore, will each have a 2.22 kW solar electric system on their rooftops, and will be grid-connected to Pacific Gas and Electric, the area’s electric utility, as part of EBHFH’s newly developed “Green Habitat Project.” Discounts on solar electric equipment, as well as technical and program management assistance are being provided by Fred Klaske of Sky Power Systems, a solar electric systems provider in Castro Valley, California. Each EBHFH solar electric system will consist of 12 Sharp 185 W modules wired into an SMA SunnyBoy 2500 inverter, and will be attached to the asphalt shingle roof using Uni-Rac mounting hardware. These solar electric systems are expected to save each of the 26 families in this “Green Habitat Project” nearly US$500 per year in reduced electric bills. While much of the overall expense is being reduced by generous discounts on material and labor as well as the California Energy Commission (CEC) rebate program, EBHFH is actively soliciting donations to cover the remaining US$133,000 (US$5,100 per unit) cost of this unique PV project. EBHFH, a leading Habitat for Humanity International affiliate, has built over 70 homes in the past 15 years using volunteer labor and donations of money and materials.
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