New Orleans, LA – SBP, a national disaster resilience and recovery organization, in collaboration with Solar Alternatives, announces the commissioning of Louisiana’s first commercial-scale microgrid solar energy system. The new system powers SBP’s St. Peter Apartments, a $10.3 million 50-unit mixed income apartment community in Mid-City New Orleans, making it the first net-zero energy commercial facility in the state.
Along with recent net-zero commitments from both the New Orleans City Council and Governor John Bel Edwards, the project delivers an innovative blueprint for clean energy in the city and state. From hurricane preparedness to affordable housing, the microgrid showcases clean energy’s positive impact on the resiliency of our communities and in mitigating climate change.
SBP leadership notes the importance of resiliency and environmental stewardship in their rebuilding program. “At SBP, we’re proud to lead the city and region into a clean energy future for affordable housing. This project will provide our tenants, including many military veterans, with reliable affordable power from the sun, and dispels the myth that energy-efficient and affordable are mutually exclusive,” said Liz McCartney, SBP Co-founder and COO.
Engineered and installed by Solar Alternatives, the 178kW rooftop solar array is estimated to generate over one million dollars in lifetime energy cost savings for SBP. The system features over 450 solar photovoltaic panels from SunPower, a microgrid controller from Ageto Energy, and battery energy storage from Dynapower and Samsung. The state-of-the-art system provides reliable, predictable power with an unlimited run time during grid outages.
“As the state’s first commercial-scale microgrid solar system, the St. Peter project shows SBP’s strong commitment to clean energy,” says Solar Alternatives President Jeff Cantin. “We’re proud to have helped bring their vision to life and position New Orleans as a leader in this space.”
Designed sustainably by Eskew+Dumez+Ripple Architects, this groundbreaking facility reserves half of the 50 units for veterans. A mix of public and private spaces foster a healthy sense of community, including a community center and outdoor green spaces. Each unit includes high efficiency appliances and systems that help ensure a low carbon impact throughout. With efficient energy management, all residents will have minimal energy bills.
Funding for the project was made possible by a generous grant from Entergy; other funders include the Louisiana Housing Corporation and the National Housing Trust Fund.
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SBP solves the challenges facing at risk communities by bringing the discipline, process, and rigor of business and innovation to create social impact and shrink the time between disaster and recovery.
SBP does this in three ways— reach, rebuild and reform. We broaden our reach, by sharing our model, approach and resources, ensuring more people are prepared for and can recover from disaster more quickly. We rebuild communities efficiently and resiliently following disaster. And, we are constantly working to reform by advocating for policy and system change.
Since its founding in 2006 in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, SBP has rebuilt homes for more than 2,300 families with the help of 130,000 volunteers in 13 communities across the U.S. and in the Bahamas.
To learn more, visit www.SBPUSA.org and like/follow on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter @SBPUSA
About Solar Alternatives Inc.
Founded in 2007, Solar Alternatives brings over a decade of clean energy experience to the region. Having built a reputation for innovation and quality, the company provides clean energy solutions to clients across Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. From solar energy systems, to backup batteries and electric vehicle charging stations, Solar Alternatives offers safe, cost-effective, and high-performance technology to consumers and businesses of all sizes.
To learn more, visit https://www.solalt.com/ and like/follow on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter @solaralt