Apartment Complex Goes Solar Just in Time for Earth Day
By Office of Communication
Posted on April 15, 2012, April 15, 2012

Brandon Oaks Apartments has all the amenities a renter would expect. And some most would never imagine, such as the largest photovoltaic - or solar panel - system in the City of Arlington. PV systems generate electricity from sunlight, producing no air pollution or hazardous waste in the process.

Brandon Oaks' PV system is 205 kilowatts and contains 836 solar panels across rooftops and parking structures. A 10- kilowatt installation produces enough electricity to power a small home for a day.

Not only are solar panels environmentally friendly, they also save money.

The savings from a 205-kilowatt system is about $4,000 a month, according to Dave Perez, co-owner of Rowlett-based Right Choice Industrial Automation and Controls (RCIAC).

RCIAC first installed a smaller 39-kilowatt system in April of 2010 at Brandon Oaks, which is near East Park Row Drive and State Highway 360, as a pilot program. Apartment owner Brett Heron liked the results and decided to expand the system, as well as install solar panels at his two other nearby apartment complexes, Arlington Park and Spanish Oaks.

"The cost of electric is going to continue to go up, and the higher it goes, the more I can save," Heron said via email. "I think that every house in the United States should have solar. If we could do that, we would not need coal fired power plants, which cause a lot of pollution."

Arlington Park has solar panels atop parking structures that were completed in January to create a 100-kilowatt installation, while the system at Spanish Oaks is expected to become the biggest PV system installed in the city at 294 kilowatts once it's completed in several weeks. When finished, Spanish Oaks will have 1,200 solar panels.

Improvements in technology, alternative funding and rebates from the federal government and Oncor have made it possible for more and more people to install photovoltaic systems.

Not too long ago, solar panel installation wasn't cost effective for the consumer, but now the tide is turning.

"We see more and more commercial clients looking to invest in renewable energy because it can increase their net operating income and decrease their variable utility expenses," said Jim Young, president of Solar Capital Group. Young's company contributed to the Brandon Oaks project.

Installers like RCIAC bring Solar Capital Group into the mix so that the end user doesn't have to pay the entire cost of the PV project up front. Solar Capital provides funding at the beginning of projects based on the rebates so that installers can order all of the necessary materials. Solar Capital then collects the rebates when they're distributed.

Arlington residents interested in learning more about installing a PV system at their houses can look to the following resources for guidance.

 Share this: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Print  posted April 15, 2012 by Office of Communication	filed under: Environment, Headlines, News Previous Post: Lions and Toucans and Cheetahs! OH MY! Next Post: Dog of the Week – Evangeline 2 thoughts on “Apartment Complex Goes Solar Just in Time for Earth Day”  	Paul Ikuta says: May 6, 2012 at 11:15 pm I am looking at buying a 10 unit apartment complex that is all electric. Each unit is individually metered. I am exploring the idea of buying a solar panel system for the apartment that would help defray some of the costs for electricity for myself and the tenants. How would this work in a 10 unit apartment complex? Is it feasable/practical? Thanks.  	Jim Young says: April 16, 2012 at 10:22 am Solar Capital Group loved working with RCIAC on these projects. We highly recommend them. Jim Young, Pres, SCG  Comments are closed.  Popular Links  Ask Arlington One Start Center Bidding Opportunities Media Contacts Elections Information Career Opportunities Accreditations The American Dream City Volunteer Opportunities Arlington Tomorrow Foundation Live in Arlington, TX American Dream City Video Tour American with Disabilities Act Coordinator Report Fraud, Waste and Abuse Open Government

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