Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Solar Panels Go Live

On January 7, 2009, the La Querencia Cohousing Community switched on 29 photovoltiac (PV) solar arrays. This is the first multifamily residential project in Fresno to go 100% solar. All 28 of the condominium residences, plus the common house each have a solar PV array. The combined power of these 29 systems is 44 kilowatts, which results in an annual reduction of 65,455 pounds of CO2.

In addition to substantial savings on their electrical bills, each residence has qualified for a rebate, through the California Energy Commission, of $3100. In addition, homes purchased before December 31, 2009 are eligible for a Federal tax credit of about $3000. The PV systems were supplied and installed by Unlimited Energy, of Fresno.

La Querencia, located on Alluvial Ave just east of Chestnut Ave calls itself “the Greenest Neighborhood in Fresno,” and for good reason. The project was the first multifamily residential project to qualify for, and receive, an incentive award from the City of Fresno under its “Fresno Green” program. This was based not just on the plans for solar, but for the overall energy efficiency, the use of sustainable building materials, reductions in water use with efficient irrigation and low use fixtures, wide roof overhangs for shading and many other “green” features. In 2008, La Querencia was awarded the Gold level by the Fresno Business Journal for the “Best Green Project.”

For more information on the project go to