San Diego Homebuilder Goes Solar

Altair Energy, a developer and integrator of alternative energy solutions and San Diego homebuilder, KD Development, are working together to bring solar electric photovoltaic (PV) systems to hundreds of residential customers in California.

Golden Colorado – November 13, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Altair Energy has a contract with KD Development to design, supply, and install PV systems as a standard feature for their homes. KD Development constructs hundreds of homes (single-and multi-family) each year. Altair Energy is currently KD’s exclusive PV partner and expects to install over 400 kW on the builder’s homes in the next year. Presently, Altair is managing two significant projects for KD. The first project, known as The Trails Complex, involves installing a total of 210 kW on seven different buildings; (six apartment buildings and a community clubhouse). Each of the three story apartment buildings will receive a total of 34 kW of installed PV, with each of the 180 individual apartment units receiving its own 900-watt grid-tied PV system. Every apartment’s PV system will be individually metered and supported by its own inverter. Another six kW will be installed atop the clubhouse building. Altair said each of the solar electric systems installed at The Trails project will allow homeowners to rely on the sun for about 80 percent of their electric needs. The second major project involves installing as many as 100 grid-tied PV systems on modest sized new homes in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. Each system will provide 75 to 80 percent of a home’s total monthly electrical usage. To date, over fifty homes have received PV systems. Altair will be contracted to install upwards of another 100 systems on additional homes to be built in 2004. “Solar electric systems are an environmental option that everyone should know about”, said Mike Turk, owner of KD Development. “Homebuyers are typically offered choices on items such as flooring, countertops and air conditioning. Now they have a choice in their electricity. With fast track permitting from the city for homes with PV, I can lower my construction costs while offering my customers the clean, green electricity they want. We’re selling (and pre-selling in most cases), everything we can build.” Altair Energy, has teamed up with its project equipment supplier, BP Solar, and two of its local authorized service providers, Warmack Electric and Harbaugh Electric, to install the hundreds of PV systems. Altair is coordinating the project management including permitting and interconnection approvals with the City of San Diego and SDG&E, the local utility. “KD Development’s demonstration that environmental leadership can be good for business will encourage the broader construction community to take a serious look at solar electricity”, commented Kirk Stokes, Altair Energy’s Commercial Projects Manager. San Diego Mayor, Dick Murphy echoed a similar sentiment by noting “This city needs to enthusiastically embrace the pursuit of sustainable reliable energy, freeing us from the whims of the power market. KD Development is helping to make this possible”. Recent developments in design and manufacturing processes have made PV a more affordable electrical generation alternative for both homes and businesses. With current California rebates and federal cost sharing, PV systems range in price from $10,000 to $40,000 depending on the amount of power desired. To offset these costs, Altair Energy can help builders take advantage of rebates for as much as 50 percent of the installed cost through the California Energy Commission rebate programs.
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