Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority signs 34 kW solar agreement with Secure Futures

earth-newSecure Futures, LLC, a developer of solar energy for non-profit institutions in education and other fields, announced today that it has signed a 20 year solar services agreement with the Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority (the “Authority”) to install, own and operate a solar photovoltaic project on the roof of a 60-unit low-income housing apartment building in Harrisonburg. When it becomes fully operational by September, 2013, the 34 kilowatt solar photovoltaic array will generate just over 45,000 kilowatt-hours per year and will offset the apartment building’s electric usage by nearly 6% annually.

Michael Wong, Executive Director of the Authority, stated that “This project exemplifies our mission to create more affordable housing for our residents. This is the right thing to do, both economically and environmentally.”

Under the solar services agreement, the Authority will prepay 85% of the solar services for $78,000 and self-generate electricity from the panels for a projected $135,000 in avoided electricity costs over the 35-year service life of the solar panels. If the Authority elects to purchase the system after five years, it could achieve even more substantial avoided costs. The panels will also generate renewable energy credits that the Authority could use in the future to achieve additional savings.

Secure Futures will install the solar array on the roof of the Polly Lineweaver apartment building located at 265 N Main St, Harrisonburg, Virginia, a low-income housing property owned and managed by the Authority. Mid-Valley Electric, a Harrisonburg- based contractor, will perform the electrical work.

Dr. Tony Smith, CEO of Secure Futures, commented “It’s been a great pleasure working with Michael Wong and his board to develop this project in support of their vision and mission to blend affordable housing and sustainability. The Authority made a very smart move in making this commitment before solar panel prices increased, as we’ve seen solar panel prices jump up across the board by nearly 10% just since March of this year, reversing a five year downward trend. One of our key suppliers has seen sales increase 50% last year, and 100% this year. Global demand for solar is skyrocketing, more than 120% this year in Japan, and similarly in India and China, and that’s contributing to the increase in solar panel prices we’re seeing for the American made high quality solar panels we like to use for our projects.”

Ken Jurman, Renewable Energy Program Manager for the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy observed that “Secure Futures has been a successful developer with other solar projects, notably at Eastern Mennonite University and at Washington and Lee University, among the two largest solar installations in the state. Not only will this project help reduce the energy expenses of low income citizens, but will, to the best of our knowledge, be the first solar photovoltaic system installed on a public housing facility in Virginia. A project of this nature very much supports the Commonwealth’s energy and environmental sustainability goals and furthers our efforts to promote innovation and rural economic development in Virginia.”

Secure Futures has played a lead role with policy development in Virginia in support of state energy policies, such as the recently enacted legislation for Power Purchase Agreements as a pilot program in Dominion territory.

 

About Secure Futures

Secure Futures, LLC designs, develops and finances distributed solar solutions with and for tax-exempt entities to reduce their electricity costs and to protect against future grid price increases through Solar Services Agreements. Secure Futures is based in Staunton, VA, and may be found on-line at http://www.securefutures.us

About Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority

The Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority (“the Authority”) is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia created pursuant to Title 36 of the Code of Virginia. The Authority works to promote adequate and affordable housing economic opportunity and a suitable living environment free from discrimination; and to foster redevelopment of blighted areas to ensure the economic, social and housing vitality of our community. See website at http://www.harrisonburgrha.com.

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