Multi-Family Solar Project for Transitional Housing Facility in Apple Valley

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October 28, 2019
Oasis House staff and install crew

The Oasis House is a 5-acre facility in Apple Valley, California run by Cedar House, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that helps improve the lives of individuals and families suffering from substance abuse or co-disorders. Oasis House serves as transitional housing for youth ages 18-23 who are coming out of foster care, providing them with room and board, as long as they are working or going to school full time. When these youth turn 18 and come out of the foster system, they are on their own and often become homeless. According to a San Bernardino County 2018 survey, the county reported 2,118 homeless and 8.2% represented ages 18-24 of the total adult homeless population.

Faith Advisory Council for Community Transformation (FACCT), with President and CEO George Lamb, oversees the Oasis House property. There are approximately 14 residents currently living at the facility. In early October, Oasis House received a 10 kW rooftop mounted solar system. Funds were provided through grants from the JPB Foundation and Wells Fargo. This multi-family solar project was a fee-for-service project outsourced through GRID’s Subcontractor Partnership Program (SPP). Myers Electric was the sub-contractor in charge of the installation.  

Vanessa Lorrah serves as GRID IE’s Commercial Project Manager. The Oasis House was the first multi-family project that she managed since joining GRID. Vanessa was responsible for everything pertaining to the project including contracting, scheduling, managing the installation, coordinating the corporate sponsored workday and acting as the liaison between GRID and the non-profit organization Oasis. Prior to the installation, tenants were given an overview about the project and what it would entail.

The property where the Oasis House is located has a unique history. A former BMX celebrity racer, Mike Cinqmars, previously owned the 5-acre lot home. The lot includes; seven bedrooms in the main building, an additional house containing four bedrooms, and a converted eight-bay garage that has been converted and now has cross-functional usage as a clothing donation and computer and business/training center. The residents can earn their keep by doing work around the property.

The 10 kW solar array will help to offset the organization’s energy bill by 30%. There are plans to continue to add to the solar system in phases, with the goal to get to net zero by the end of 2020.

“The Oasis House project was a great accomplishment. It took only a day and a half instead of two days, and the project passed inspection on day two of the install,” shared Vanessa. “It was well executed and the partnerships with the different entities was great.” In 2020, GRID IE looks forward to facilitating more multifamily solar projects including a community solar project in Anza, California; Mercy House; and Vista Verde in Ontario, California.