Habitat for Humanity Homes to Go Solar

REgrid Power, a San Jose-based renewable energy design, installation and services company, was chosen to develop and install photovoltaic (PV) solar electric systems on the roofs of three Santa Clara homes under construction by Silicon Valley Habitat for Humanity (SVHfH) the first SVHfH homes in the City of Santa Clara. The installations are slated for June.

San Jose, California – May 6, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Last year, REgrid Power was selected to design and install a solar electric system in a Habitat for Humanity home in Los Gatos, the first in the town. The company donated labor and provided materials at cost for the project. The new Habitat for Humanity homes for low-income families on Gianera Street in Santa Clara are the result of a collaboration between SVHfH; the City of Santa Clara; and Silicon Valley Power, the City of Santa Clara’s municipal electric utility. The City provided the land and financial support for the project through its Affordable Housing Fund; Federal Home Investment Partnership Act fund; and Silicon Valley Power Public Benefits Program, the latter funding the installation of the systems. “We chose REgrid Power because of its robust proposal, willingness to work hand in hand in our non-profit environment and its past experience designing and installing solar systems,” said Padmakar Chaobal, construction project director for SVHfH. “The company also offered the most competitive bid for the project.” Habitat for Humanity strives to build simple, decent homes at the least cost and to find ways to enhance the homeowner’s experience through sustainable living. REgrid Power will install a 1.8 and 2.4 (peak) kilowatt (kW) system in the two smaller, three-bedroom houses that will produce between 2,000 and 3,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) annually, offsetting 70 percent to 100 percent of residents’ electric bills. The larger, four-bedroom house will receive a 3.3 kW (peak ) system delivering about 4,500 kWh per year, which is expected to meet between 80 percent and 100 percent of the resident’s electricity needs. REgrid Power has offered a substantial discount off its regular pricing to make the new solar homes a reality. REgrid Power President Tom McCalmont combines his love for building things, passion for creating renewable energy sources to protect the planet and desire to help those less fortunate in his work with Habitat for Humanity. “The organization gives new low-income homeowners an opportunity to discover the joys of self-initiative, self-respect and working with others to create something great – their own homes,” McCalmont said, “while raising the awareness of the environmental impact of building houses.”

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