Open Energy Corporation, a renewable energy company focused on building integrated photovoltaic solutions, announced today that it has signed a development agreement with San Diego based John DeWald + Associates to create its first "solar community" project which will enable homeowners in the Pacific Station development in California to gain the benefits of rooftop solar power systems at no upfront cost to the developer or homeowner.
Under the terms of this agreement, Open Energy will finance $480,000 and install 1.2 kW systems on each of the 47 condominium townhomes at the mixed use residential and commercial development located on Pacific Coast Highway in downtown Encinitas in exchange for the rights to sell a percentage of the solar electricity provided under a long term purchase agreement. The development also includes a Whole Foods store and mixed retail and commercial units.
John DeWald said, "Creative financing is key to effectively implementing solar in the current market and the Solar Communities program is a great tool allowing us to include solar as part of our green building program. The utilization of Open Energy’s SolarSave Membranes does not detract architecturally from our low slope roofs and the fact that we are deploying solar electricity will help us to qualify the project as one of the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified commercial projects in Encinitas. It is part of a comprehensive green design program that includes energy efficient materials, water conservation techniques, resource conservation, and the recycling of demolition materials.
"We are thrilled that Pacific Station will represent the inaugural project for Open Energy’s innovative 'Solar Communities' model. This exciting new concept will allow us to provide solar energy systems to our residents and all the benefits of a system such as increased home value, a reduced monthly electric bill and a higher resale home rate all for no upfront cost to the homeowner."
David Field, President and Chief Operating Officer of Open Energy, added, "With this project we are moving forward with our stated intention to become a power provider as well as a solar equipment vendor. Up until now, residential customers have not been able to take full advantage of federal tax incentives for renewable energy systems. An additional hurdle to residential solar energy systems is that they have long been considered unattractive and expensive. Our 'Solar Communities' business model and award winning SolarSave products are designed to break through these barriers. Homeowners will lower their monthly utility bill and receive the appreciated property value of a solar system without bearing the up-front costs. The developer can meet their design and environmental objectives, and the community as a whole can lower its carbon footprint. It is a win-win value proposition."
The Pacific Station project is slated to break ground in Spring 2008 and will take about 18 months to complete. It will utilize approximately 130 SolarSave® membranes, and is projected to provide over 1.5 million kilowatt hours of clean renewable electricity over the life of the contract. Open Energy will engineer the PV portion of the project, and supply balance of system equipment including inverters and monitoring equipment. Under the terms of the agreement, Open Energy will provide engineering and rebate processing, as well as long-term operation and maintenance of the system. The SolarSave® membranes will be provided by Open Energy at its cost, in exchange for the right to sell power to the development’s occupants. As a result, any revenues will be realized by OEC only upon project completion and occupancy.