GRID Tri-State opens for business in Connecticut!

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May 05, 2017

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View of the Fair Street apartments and brand new solar system from the adjacent highway.
View of the Fair Street apartments and brand new solar system from the adjacent highway.

From the vantage point of the adjacent highway, the roof of the Fair Street Apartments in Norwalk, Connecticut was bustling with activity throughout the month of April. Workers clad in harnesses and hard hats dotted the roof and scurried up and down scaffolding. Soon, a massive solar array began to take shape, marking an important occasion for GRID: the launch of our multifamily affordable solar program in the State of Connecticut!

Over past month, over 100 volunteers and job trainees helped GRID to install solar on the Fair Street Apartments. Despite some drizzly weather, and a steep climb to the roof, participants were eager to roll up their sleeves and pitch in, learning everything from electrical wiring to placing panels to connecting the microinverters.

The Fair Street project, financed by the Connecticut Green Bank, is one of the first of its kind in the state, and GRID’s very first multifamily solar project in Connecticut. Upon completion, the 51.8-kilowatt system will reduce electricity costs by an estimated 15-20 percent for nonprofit affordable housing provider New Neighborhoods Inc.

GRID Tri-State has already begun providing no-cost technical assistance for similar multifamily affordable housing providers in the state through a grant from The JPB Foundation, including a portfolio of 300 multifamily affordable housing buildings sponsored by the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority. Solar suitable buildings in the portfolio will be eligible for financing from the Connecticut Green Bank to have solar installed by GRID Alternatives or another qualified solar installer.

Workers install solar on the roof of the Fair Street apartments.
Workers install solar on the roof of the Fair Street apartments.
“Solar can make a huge financial difference for affordable housing owners, saving them money that can be applied to building upkeep and tenant services, and directly reducing rents in some cases,” said Peter Mandelstam, Executive Director of GRID Tri-State, “We are excited to partner with Connecticut in opening up solar access for this market.”

See more photos from the installation here!

Special thanks to the Wells Fargo Foundation for its ongoing support of GRID’s national expansion efforts! The Fair Street installation was additionally sponsored by NRG Energy, Ardsley Partners, and GRID Alternatives' national equipment partners: SunPower, Enphase Energy, Jinko Solar, IronRidge, and Schneider Electric.