Arbor Court, a 234-unit assisted living complex for low-income seniors in Southern California, is the first affordable housing development in its area to qualify for a new California state incentive that makes solar more cost effective for such projects than in the past. The Insite Development project was funded in part through the new incentive program called MASH, Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing, which will allow Insite to pay off its solar investment in an astounding five years or less. The project, which consists of four buildings, is the first in the entirety of Southern Cal Edison’s territory to qualify for MASH.
SolarCity, a national solution provider in solar design, financing and installation, is completing its massive solar installation on Arbor Court, which is in the city of Lancaster, about 50 miles north of Los Angeles. Through MASH and SolarCity’s competitive cash pricing, Insite is installing a 282-kilowatt system at roughly 80% off retail cost. The additional electricity and savings will allow the developer to provide seniors with a computer room with specialized mind-stimulating games for seniors, a touch-screen computer with web access in every room, security surveillance, video conferencing, a medical-alert system and other items.
The SolarCity installation “literally helps keep us in business,” says Insite partner Scott Ehrlich. “Our margins are so thin that if our electrical bills spike and we’re negative for a couple of months, we’re under water. We have to maintain our ongoing expenses to a bare-bones minimum and our goal is to have these projects sustain themselves.”