Vintage Oaks Realizes Reduced Carbon Footprint, Electricity Bills
ROCKLIN, Calif., March 29, 2011—Due to its success since coming online last summer, the nearly 500kW photovoltaic system at the Vintage Oaks senior affordable housing community in Citrus Heights, Calif., has become a demonstration system for other properties by developer USA Properties Fund, Inc. Based on their quality and reliability, 98 Sunny Boy inverters from SMA America were chosen to convert the direct current (DC) collected by the solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity for use throughout the neighborhood.
Designed by Beutler Corp., the rooftop and carport solar system consists of 2,640 solar modules and SMA Sunny Boy 3000-US (3), 4000-US (8), 5000-US (36), 6000-US (47) and 7000-US (4) inverters.
To maximize the community's shade-free area, the solar system covers the rooftops of 16 buildings and 17 carports. It is expected to produce 728,941 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year and will offset the power needs of the community's 241 apartments by 86 percent. It also will reduce green house emissions by 11,907 tons of CO2.
"Because of the number of buildings and different roof orientations at Vintage Oaks, we chose the versatile Sunny Boy line of inverters," said Curt Wylie, solar department manager for Beutler. "SMA inverters are the best on the market and, due to their exceptional reliability, they represent the least amount of risk to Beutler and our customers."
To help keep electricity costs even lower for Vintage Oaks residents, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) created a virtual net metering program. Virtual net metering is a relatively new concept that allows net metering credits from one PV system to be distributed among residents of an entire community. Because of this, some Vintage Oaks residents have reported monthly electric bills as low as $2.
With the success of the Vintage Oaks solar project, Beutler is already installing PV at three other USA Properties Fund communities in California: Terracina at Vineyard in Sacramento, Terracina at Cathedral City in Cathedral City and Las Serenas in Simi Valley.
"With the benefits and savings that are apparent with the Vintage Oaks project, we feel confident making solar power a key part of our future," said Geoff Brown, president and CEO of USA Properties Fund.
Added Dave Wojciechowski, director of sales at SMA America, "We are proud to support USA Properties Fund's environmentally responsible mission to power other communities with clean, safe and affordable solar power."
The Sunny Boy is the world's most popular line of solar inverters and features class-leading efficiency and reliability. Its longevity is enhanced via SMA's patented OptiCool active temperature-management system and rugged cast-aluminum outdoor-rated enclosure. Sunny Boy inverters are certified to the UL 1741/IEEE1547 standard and include a 10-year factory warranty, with the ability to extend up to 20 years.
The SMA Group generated sales of EUR 934 million in 2009 and is the worldwide market leader for photovoltaic inverters, a key component of all solar power plants. It is headquartered in Niestetal, near Kassel, Germany, and is represented on four continents by 15 foreign subsidiaries. The Group employs a staff of over 5,000 (incl. temporary workers). SMA's product portfolio includes the most comprehensive range of inverters on the market, offering a compatible inverter for every type of photovoltaic module and for all plant sizes. The product range covers both inverters for photovoltaic plants connected to the grid as well as inverters for off-grid systems. Since 2008, the Group's parent company SMA Solar Technology AG has been listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (S92) and also in the TecDAX index. In recent years, SMA has received numerous awards for its excellence as an employer. www.SMA-America.com