GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic, a nonprofit organization that makes solar power and job training accessible to underserved communities, and volunteers from Exelon subsidiary, Constellation, will install a 90 kW cost-saving solar energy system that will assist St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center in funding renovations at its senior living center, Aigburth Vale.
GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic is able to provide the solar energy system with the support of Constellation. Savings from the system will enable St. Ambrose to ensure the longevity and quality of the affordable housing they are providing to low-to-moderate income senior citizens living at Aigburth Vale.
“St. Ambrose is happy to be part of the partnership to preserve Aigburth Vale,” said Gerard Joab, executive director of the St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center. “The renovation of this property, which includes solar energy upgrades as well as the restoration of common areas and residences, will extend the life of the building, help meet the need for affordable senior housing and ensure that our residents have a place to call home.”
Built in 1868, the historic Aigburth Vale building was turned into an affordable senior housing center in 1999 by St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center. The 90 kW solar energy system, which will offset common area energy usage, will result in approximately $15,000 of savings on electricity bills annually. The savings will help St. Ambrose provide the 70 residents with multiple improvements to each unit, including new kitchens, handicap accessible bathrooms and new HVAC units, as well as upgrades to the common areas, including a new roof, common area furniture, floors, gym equipment and a library.
Led by GRID Alternatives staff, job trainees and community volunteers will install the system over the course of a month. Volunteers from Constellation, a key project supporter, will begin working on the installation today. This will be GRID Alternatives’ first multifamily installation in Baltimore.
“Constellation and our parent company, Exelon, are dedicated to supporting and increasing access to renewable energy resources in Baltimore and across Maryland,” said Gary Fromer, senior vice president of Distributed Energy for Constellation. “Projects such as this also enable us to give back to the communities where we live and work by making energy cleaner and more affordable.” Exelon employees volunteered more than 170,000 hours to nonprofit organizations in 2016.
The solar energy system is expected to prevent 2,347 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere over the next 25 years, and is the equivalent of planting over 50,000 trees.
“All of the partners on this project are really dedicated to the preservation of affordable housing in the area,” said Nicole Steele of GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic. “Renewable energy is a critical resource in that effort, and we’re excited to help bring it to this community for the benefit of the seniors living here.”
This project is possible thanks to the financial and volunteer support of Constellation. One of the largest solar energy producers in Maryland, Constellation currently owns and operates more than 300 megawatts of solar installations for commercial and government customers throughout the United States. Additional project supporters include Talesun and Solectra, who are providing the solar modules and inverters, which convert direct current (DC) power generated by the system into alternating current (AC) power which can be used by the senior center.