Keene Housing announces a huge step towards meeting its goal of relying 100% on renewable energy by 2035 with the installation of air source heat pumps and a 260kW solar panel array at Forest View apartments. Over the life of the system, the solar arrays and heat pumps will save Keene Housing over $2 million and offset roughly 1,500 tons of carbon pollution.

Access to solar energy is expanding again for those in need in the Monadnock region. Last year, Keene Housing (KH) added solar arrays to its Harper Acres property. This spring, in the second round of clean energy transitions for the affordable housing nonprofit, grid-tied rooftop solar arrays totaling 260.33 kilowatts will be installed at Forest View Apartments, KH’s 39-unit property along Harmony Lane.

“We are thrilled to be moving forward with our second solar project with ReVision in as many years,” said Keene Housing Executive Director Joshua Meehan. “Every dollar we save on electricity is a dollar we can invest into our real estate portfolio, improved resident services and the development of additional affordable housing.”

The Forest View project will be installed at no upfront cost to Keene Housing. The solar energy systems are part of a comprehensive energy efficiency transition that also includes air source heat pumps for heating and cooling. Keene Housing’s energy efficiency and production strategies align with a Keene City Council resolution that encourages the city and its residents to eventually generate 100% of their electricity from renewable sources.

The Forest View project includes 801 solar panels that will generate over 260,000 kilowatt-hours of solar electricity and offset approximately 137 tons of carbon pollution each year. The Harper Acres project includes 300 solar panels that generate over 100,000 kilowatt-hours of solar power and offset roughly 60 tons of carbon pollution annually. ReVision Solar Impact Partners (RSIPs) own the Forest View arrays through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Keene Housing. Under the terms of the agreement, the nonprofit initially agrees to purchase electricity at a negotiated rate below grid cost.

After six years, KH will have the option to purchase the system at a significant discount, enabling the housing authority to generate free solar power for decades to come. The PPA gives KH the ability to leverage the economic and environmental benefits of solar power while affording the impact partners an opportunity to make community investments that express their commitment to environmental sustainability. Under the terms of the RSIP program, impact investors provide capital to build solar projects.

Investors earn a modest rate of return through payments made for solar generation, tax incentives, and other project benefits while solar installers benefit from a steady pipeline of work. The nonprofit entering into the agreement receives a reduced electric bill plus the environmental benefits of generating clean electricity.

The Forest View arrays are expected to save KH more than $2 million over the life of the system if the nonprofit exercises its future purchase option. The Harper Acres project is forecast to save half a million dollars in electricity costs.

ABOUT KEENE HOUSING Keene Housing provides access to safe, affordable housing for close to 1,000 households throughout New Hampshire’s Monadnock Region. Thanks to KH’s participation in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Moving to Work Demonstration (MTW), KH is able to design innovative programs that go beyond housing, delivering services that enrich residents’ lives and help them achieve greater economic independence. Learn more at keenehousing.org.

ABOUT REVISION ENERGY ReVision Energy is a local, employee-owned company on a mission to accelerate New England’s clean energy transition from fossil fuels to solar energy. As a Certified B Corporation, ReVision is part of a global movement using business as a force for good to solve social and environmental issues. ReVision Energy consistently ranks among the best solar companies. The company was named the number one rooftop installer in New England in 2017 and 2018 by Solar Power World magazine and a 2018 “Business of the Year” by Business NH magazine. Learn more at revisionenergy.com.


Photo credit: K2 sustainable apartments by Hansen Yuncken in Australia. (Wikimedia)