by Nora Caley, SolarIndustryMag.com
Using solar photovoltaics to power affordable housing is a concept that is gaining momentum.
“It makes business sense for us,” says Scott Sarem, CEO of Carlsbad, Calif.-based installer Everyday Energy. “We figured out a way to make money while we provide a valuable service to an underserved community.”
Everyday Energy is one of several companies participating in a project coordinated by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to install solar photovoltaics on low-income residential housing. The program, Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH), provides rebates to offset the project costs of installing solar on multifamily affordable housing buildings in California.
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by Chris Meehan, CleanEnergyAuthority.com
Skyline Innovations will build and finance the installation for solar hot water heating systems across 11 AMCAL multifamily properties in California. The project will give 2,100 residents access to hot water at 30 percent lower costs.
While there are plenty of companies out there that are providing low-to-no up-front financing options for photovoltaics, far fewer companies are offering such options for solar hot water heating. Skyline’s specialty is offering such services for multifamily residences and commercial businesses. At this point it’s operating in Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii and Maryland.
“Along with our specialization in market rate multifamily properties, we are starting to take a leadership role in affordable housing,” said Skyline CEO Zach Axelrod. “It’s great to have a solution that helps those who need it most while benefitting the environment, and being able to measure and validate to our customers exactly the impact that we’ve had.”
The partnership between AMCAL and Skyline is allowing the housing developer to finance the 389 solar hot water collectors for 10 years with no capital outlay. In all, the project is expected to save residents from purchasing roughly 45,000 therms of energy annually, which is equivalent to 1.3 million kilowatt hours of electricity. Which is expected to result in a 30 percent discount, compared to its utility rate for solar hot water used by each building.
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DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator is a city-sponsored nonprofit looking to grow green-minded start-ups into thriving companies working to increase environmental sustainability.
The Arts District incubator rents inexpensive office space to start-ups and coaches them on growing their business. LACI Executive Director Fred Walti has likened the entity to a farm system for developing the future pro talent of the cleantech industry. Here are snapshots of three of the Downtown-based companies.
Company: Skyline Innovations, Inc.
Founder: Zach Axelrod, CEO
Q: What is your company’s product and how does it work?
A: Skyline Innovations finances, installs, maintains and monitors commercial-scale solar water heating systems at no upfront cost to customers. Our innovative business and financing model enables us to deliver guaranteed savings by operating as a rooftop solar utility, selling solar hot water to the building at a price set at a fixed discount to their conventional utility rate. We use integrated real-time system monitoring to collect and analyze system performance, as well as to measure and validate savings. This allows us to provide ongoing optimization of system performance, as under our shared savings model our interests are aligned with the customer.
Read more at LA Downtown News >
by Tina Casey
CALIFORNIA – It wasn’t too long ago that rooftop solar panels were yet another expensive add-on for high end homes, but then again, it wasn’t too long ago that only the rich kids at your high school could afford pocket calculators, let alone mobile phones. Affordable solar power is starting to make its way down the income ladder, and a pair of statewide California solar programs show how that’s good news for utility customers and taxpayers, too.
Just last summer the Baltimore Sun reported on a company called Skyline Innovations, which installed solar thermal hot water systems under a PPA for the “cash-strapped” housing authority in Annapolis, Maryland. With no money required up front, the new system is saving about 30 percent on hot water heating.
Read Full Article at CleanTechnica >
WASHINGTON, D.C. (SEIA) – Today the Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA®) launched the U.S. Solar Heating and Cooling Alliance (SHC Alliance). The Alliance will focus on growing the solar heating and cooling market through reducing barriers and advocating for policies on the federal, state and local levels.
The newly elected leaders of the U.S. Solar Heating and Cooling Alliance are:
- Chairman: Mike Healy, Skyline Innovations
- Vice Chairman: Matt Carlson, Sunnovations
- Treasurer: Eileen Prado, Solar Rating and Certification Corporation
- Rotating members: Les Nelson, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials; and Ole Pilgaard, Heliodyne
Read Full Press Release at SEIA >
CALIFORNIA, Nov 19, 2012 (AAOA) – Property management firm William Holdings has taken “going green” to a new level by being the first company in California to install Skyline Innovations solar water heating systems in three of their properties.
Solar hot water has been a commercialized technology for many years. Unfortunately, however, the technology wasn’t all that reliable — until now.
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On November 2, 2012 the Maryland Energy Administration selected Skyline Innovations as a 2012 Game Changer Competitive Grant Awardee. “The winning grantees embrace either a new technology or a new methodology that extends beyond existing renewable energy generation; the Gamer Changers seek to advance the market into uncharted territory.”
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by Herman Trabish
Solar water heating (SWH) specialist Skyline Innovations just picked up a million dollars in venture capital, $30 million in backing from the investment arm of a natural gas utility, and added three multi-family buildings to its customer list. It’s another sign that, in solar, third-party financing might in fact please all of the people all of the time.
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Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) has teamed with Skyline Innovations to reduce their utility costs by installing a solar hot water system at their Columbia Grove Apartments.
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Unlike the first generation, the second generation of cleantech entrepreneurs believes business model innovation is more critical to solving the world’s energy and environmental problems than technological innovation. Zach Axelrod, the 27-year-old CEO of Washington D.C.-based solar water heating start up Skyline Innovations, is “Exhibit A.”
Read Full Story at Forbes.com >