The Sixth Place Apartments in White City, Seattle, Washington are now installed with solar panels.
The apartment complex has nine roofs which were outfitted with a total of 213 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels that are capable of generating a 50.1 kilowatt array.
When the housing units were initially designed, solar panels were not considered as part of the picture because of cost constraints. However, due to improved economic climate and due to $375,000 funds donated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and to $125, 000 solar tax credits, the solar panel installation became feasible.
Energy efficient strategies aside from solar panels are also used in making the housing complex sustainable. The building’s walls, roofs and windows are insulated to standards beyond code requirement, Energy Star lighting is being used in the interior and exterior of the units, solar powered attic fans are installed to keep the units cooler during summer months by venting hot air from the attic and light tubes are being used to minimize electric lighting during daylight hours.
When it is fully operational, the whole energy efficiency system is expected to generate 52, 558 kilowatt hours of clean energy per year, with excess power going back to the grid.
The Sixth Place Apartments are part of Greenbridge, a mixed income community ultimately comprised of 900 for-rent and for-sale homes.
The apartment complex’s developer, King County Housing Authority (KCHA), said that it will be the largest residential solar panel installation in the state of Washington.
KCHA has a solar installation located in the roof of the community center in Greenbridge as well as twelve other sites that it owns/manages.