Homewise installs solar panels on its office rooftop

·1 min read

Aug. 10—Santa Fe affordable housing builder and financer Homewise has installed an array of 138 solar panels on its Siler Road office that will produce all the electricity the building consumes, according to a news release.

The 370-watt Hyundai panels were installed in early June but still await interconnection with Public Service Company of New Mexico, said Carl Davis, Homewise's community development construction manager.

The 51-kilowatt solar system, which covers more than half of the Homewise building's roof, will produce 84,815 kilowatt-hours of energy over a year. In the coming months, Homewise also will outfit its Orpheum building in Albuquerque with solar panels, Davis said.

"We've been wanting to do this forever," he said.

Homewise has installed solar systems in more than 150 homes with the help of a 26 percent federal solar tax credit, but those tax credits are not available to nonprofits such as Homewise for use on their own buildings.

Homewise partnered with Affordable Solar in Albuquerque on a power purchase agreement. Affordable Solar continues to own the panels with Homewise paying Affordable Solar for the electricity produced at a rate at least 5 percent lower than charged by a utility, said Dylan Connelly, director of commercial and community solar development at Affordable Solar.

Those savings are roughly the equivalent of a tax credit, Connelly said.

After five years, Homewise has the option to buy the solar power system, he said.

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