Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Revolutionizing Affordable Housing: Solar Energy Integration at The Knolls


In the sun-soaked region of Southern California, an uncommon scene unfolds. Numerous solar panels are arranged in rows on top of the carports at an economical housing establishment in Orange. The Knolls, a residential complex with 260 units, is now reaping the advantages of a newly installed 646-kilowatt solar system. This system not only provides them with eco-friendly energy but also aids in reducing their electricity expenses.

A resident of The Knolls, K.K., expressed satisfaction with the new solar option, stating, “It’s beneficial for both the environment and our standard of living. The money we save on our bills can now be used to support our children.”

The solar project was a joint effort by The Foundation for Affordable Housing, BLDG Partners, Sunrun, the city of Orange, and Southern California Edison, aimed at lessening the community’s reliance on fossil fuels. The residents of these cost-effective apartments will gain from the 1,596 state-of-the-art solar panels installed across the property, expected to fulfill 65% of the community’s power requirements. The newly equipped rooftops are currently producing clean energy for the entire complex.

“I grew up in the city of Orange. We have an enormous sense of community,” said Jonathan Russo, senior asset manager at The Foundation for Affordable Housing. “By investing in the city and its residents, this project is expected to lower the average household’s monthly electric costs by $60 and is one way to take part in affordable, clean energy.”

The Knolls initiative was actualized through the Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing program. This program, which operates statewide, offers incentives to property owners who set up solar systems in housing that caters to low-income or disadvantaged communities. Additional benefits of participation include the implementation of energy-efficient measures, training for solar panel installation jobs, workforce development opportunities with a focus on local and targeted employment, and tenant education and engagement.

The California Climate Investments initiative approved the annual funds. The funding is sourced from the proceeds of the Cap-and-Trade Program auction, which are deposited into the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. These funds are utilized to support the state’s objectives of reducing carbon emissions and mitigating the impacts of climate change.

The Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing program has set a goal to install a generating capacity of 300 MW by 2030. The Knolls, being the fourth-largest system, offers direct benefits to renters in California and symbolizes the state’s dedication to mitigating climate effects. Renters who are unable to install solar panels can participate in community renewable energy projects through SCE’s Community Renewables Program.

Cynthia Quimby, SCE Government Relations manager, stated, “The Knolls is precisely the type of project that is essential not only for achieving Southern California Edison’s vision of clean energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions but also for ensuring that all customers experience the cost savings associated with clean energy.” She added, “SCE remains dedicated to safely providing all of our customers with cost savings, as well as reliable and affordable energy, and we are eager to continue collaborating with our partners and communities on future solutions.”

As part of the Countdown to 2045, Edison International’s revised analysis of the transformation required to meet California’s net-zero emissions mandate indicates that solar and wind energy will supply the majority of the energy across most hours of the day and 68% of the annual energy needed to serve grid demand. These projects are instrumental in achieving this objective and constructing equitable and sustainable energy systems.