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White House Touts Mutual Housing Solar Energy Projects

Mutual Housing California’s work at six communities was touted in President Obama’s announcement this past Friday on commitments and executive actions to advance solar energy.

Mutual Housing’s projects will add 800 kilowatts of on-site solar power to six of their affordable housing communities in Woodland, Davis and Sacramento.  

“We have made a concerted effort for many years to bridge the green divide by bringing solar energy to our low-income households,” said Rachel Iskow, Mutual Housing CEO. “To be recognized at that level for our work is very gratifying.”

The construction of Mutual Housing at Spring Lake in Woodland currently is in the framing stages. When completed in March 2015—thanks to solar panels on all residential and community buildings, and  energy efficient design and building materials—the community is expected to be zero net energy, consuming no more energy than it produces. The 62 apartments for agricultural workers will be the first permanent, year-round housing for this segment of the population in Northern California. 

As part of the California Solar Initiative that allotted $217 million for solar installation at residences and multifamily housing across the state, Owendale Mutual Housing Community had photovoltaics installed at the 45 apartments in Davis.

Four communities also are having solar panels installed as part of green renovations in Sacramento. These include 169 apartments at the Mutual Housing communities at Greenway, Glen Ellen and Los Robles in South Sacramento that should be completed in October and 98 apartments at the Foothill Plaza Mutual Housing Community in North Sacramento. The photovoltaic panels will produce energy on sunny—and cloudy—days.

Known for its commitment to green design and development, Mutual Housing in 2002 became the first developer in the Sacramento Municipal Utility District region to construct a multifamily property with photovoltaic panels.

This past year, the nonprofit opened the highest solar-energy producing private property in Davis, Calif., a city known for its green edge, at New Harmony Mutual Housing Community.

From vegetable farms to chain retailers, an estimated 13 gigawatts of solar power was installed by the private and public sector this past year, up from 1.2 gigawatts in 2008. The 300 public and private sector commitments announced represent more than 850 megawatts of solar power.

The commitments also included Presidential executive actions that will lead to $2 billion in energy efficiency investments in federal buildings, smarter appliances, and training programs at community colleges nationwide to assist 50,000 workers in entering the solar industry by 2020.

The communities have nearly 3,000 residents, nearly half of whom are children.