In the months since funding was awarded, the Project Team launched STAR II and has selected 15 participants made up of community organizations, non-profits, and for-profit housing developers across the state. Community Development Corporations (CDCs), which often provide a range of services beyond housing, were given priority in the application selection process due to their relatively smaller staff sizes and the outsized impact they have in limited resource communities. Other selection criteria included locality in a geographic area with more favorable solar incentives and larger affordable housing developers (with 1000+ units) that could serve to demonstrate opportunities for solar PV technology to be adopted at scale.
The next step for STAR II is to complete solar PV feasibility studies with the fifteen (15) participants. Five (5) of these studies have already been completed with the following organizations: B’nai B’rith Housing, Beacon Communities, Hilltown CDC, Housing Assistance Corporation, and Veterans Benefit CDC. As reported in feasibility studies completed to date, there is a potential for over one hundred (100) solar PV installation sites that could account for an astounding three (3) MW of potential direct current (DC) energy from solar PV. This is the same amount as the total program goal that the Project Team established of three (3) MW DC of energy from solar PV. Based on Resonant Energy’s past experience, only 30-40% of projects analyzed turn into projects, so the Project Team is hoping they’ll be able to complete analyses for seven to nine (7-9) MWs in total for STAR II participants in order to find three (3) MWs worth of projects that will end up moving forward in the process.
B’nai B’rith Housing and Veterans Benefit CDC have both signed letters of intent for installation of solar PV panels across twenty-two (22) sites, representing a total of five hundred fifty-one (551) kilowatts (kW) DC worth of solar PV or about a quarter of the two (2) MW DC total of the potential DC energy reported from the five completed feasibility studies. This represents an estimated lifetime savings for the affordable housing owners of over $2.1 million!