An affordable senior living center just received 77 kW of solar on its roof, thanks to a partnership between Constellation, St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center (St. Ambrose), and GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic. St. Ambrose provides affordable housing to underserved individuals and families, and is Baltimore’s oldest nonprofit housing agency. The solar system will cover part of the costs of the common area expenses, and will save St. Ambrose approximately $15,000 a year. These cost savings are allowing St. Ambrose to make significant upgrades to the center, including new HVAC units for each apartment, new handicap accessible bathrooms, new exercise equipment for the gym, and other various common area upgrades and unit repairs. The solar will also help keep the housing affordable for the residents, who are all on a fixed, low-moderate income. “Preservation of affordable senior housing is imperative to do,” explains Gerard Joab, Executive Director of St. Ambrose.
Aigburth Vale is an unusual senior center. Part of the center is a repurposed mansion, originally built in 1868. The 340 solar panels will be installed on the 1999 addition of Aigburth Vale. This way, the residents living in the historic mansion will be able to see the solar from their apartment.
This is GRID Alternatives’ second multi-family solar installation in the Mid-Atlantic region, and its first in Baltimore. “We started with single family, but as solar grew, GRID started looking at other opportunities,” explains Nicole Steele, executive director of GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic, “GRID is excited to expand our services to tenants.” Congressman Sarbanes, the U.S. Representative for the third district of Maryland, is a Towson local. “This is a model for what can happen in so many places. This partnership should be showcased and replicated around the country,” says the Congressman.
“Building relationships between the private and public sector to get things done is what today is all about,” said Councilman David Marks, who represents the fifth District on Baltimore County Council. GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic was happy to celebrate the installation day with their partners and supporters, Constellation and St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center. Thanks to all!