Keene, NH — An affordable housing property in the Monadnock region is moving closer toward its goal of converting to 100% renewable energy by 2035. Keene Housing (KH) is under contract with ReVision Energy to incorporate solar electricity at its Harper Acres property, enabling savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs. Built in 1968, Harper Acres consists of 112, mostly studio and one-bedroom units, home mainly to elderly and disabled residents.
The solar arrays are expected to be installed this spring across a majority of the property’s fourteen units. Collectively, the solar electric system will total 91.5 kilowatts. The arrays will produce approximately 105,592 kilowatt hours of clean energy each year, equivalent to offsetting roughly 121,000 pounds of carbon pollution or 6,000 gallons of gasoline or 60,000 pounds of coal.
“Keene Housing is committed to reducing our utility costs as well as our carbon footprint.” According to Executive Director Joshua Meehan, “Reducing our energy costs provides us with capital that can be used to maintain the housing we have and to pursue new opportunities for creating additional housing for those in need. From an environmental standpoint, reducing our greenhouse gas emissions supports the community’s efforts to remain a great place to live, work and play.”
The property has already benefited from several energy updates over the last few years, including new windows, a complete LED retrofit, and installation of a new water-saving feature, resulting in a 7% energy usage reduction since 2014. The solar arrays will provide approximately 10% of the property’s energy needs. The energy updates are part of KH’s broader goals to reduce energy and water consumption by 20% by the year 2025 and to meet all energy needs with renewables by 2035.
“This project reinforces the fact that solar energy is an affordable path on the road to sustainability,” said ReVision Energy employee-owner and outreach specialist Christina Zlotnick. “Keene Housing’s clean energy transition is a prime example of a local entity committed to creating a clean energy future, and we’re proud to partner with them to accelerate our shared mission to decrease the use of fossil fuels.”
ReVision Investments NH, LLC, a legal entity of ReVision Energy, will own the solar arrays through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Keene Housing. Under the agreement, KH agrees to purchase electricity from ReVision at a fixed rate schedule, which is currently below the housing authority’s cost to purchase grid electricity. The PPA gives KH the ability to leverage the economic and environmental benefits of solar power while allowing ReVision the opportunity to make community investments that align with its core values of creating positive change in the world.
A PPA is an innovative financing tool that allows Keene Housing to benefit from solar power on a cashflow-positive basis from day one. In the sixth year of the agreement, KH will have the option to purchase the system at a significant discount, enabling the nonprofit to generate free solar power for decades to come. The arrays are expected to save roughly $500,000 over the life of the systems if Keene Housing agrees to the future purchase option.
ABOUT KEENE HOUSING
Keene Housing provides access to safe, affordable housing for close to 1,000 households throughout New Hampshire’s Monadnock region. Thanks to KH’s participation in the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Moving to Work Demonstration (MTW), KH is able to design innovative programs that go beyond housing, delivering services that enrich residents’ lives and help them achieve greater economic independence. To learn more about KH, visit www.keenehousing.org.
ABOUT REVISION ENERGY
ReVision Energy is a local, employee-owned company on a mission to accelerate New England’s clean energy transition from fossil fuels to solar energy. As a Certified B Corporation, ReVision is part of a global movement using business as a force for good to solve social and environmental issues. ReVision Energy consistently ranks among the best solar companies. The company was named the #1 Rooftop Installer in New England in 2017 by Solar Power World magazine and the Best Solar Energy Company in 2018 by New Hampshire Business Review. Learn more at revisionenergy.com.