A novel connection, Westside affordable housing community welcomes solar array
By Sean Keenan
An affordable housing community on Atlanta’s Westside is soon to be partially solar-powered.
On Tuesday, representatives with environmental sustainability-focused nonprofit Southface Institute announced a solar panel array had been installed at Quest Communities, a residential complex at the intersection of some of the city’s most underserved neighborhoods—Bankhead, English Avenue, Washington Park and Vine City.
The solar power hardware was donated by Creative Solar USA and is expected to save Quest Communities $5,000 per year or more, according to a Southface press release. The 18-kilowatt system is also a novel concept in Atlanta — a solar operation linked to an affordable housing complex, that is — Southface reps told SaportaReport in an email.
The project provides perspective to a unique connection between housing affordability and environmental sustainability.
“One important way to create such significant savings as part of a total affordability goal is the pairing of efficiency with renewable energy, and Southface is proud to have been part of this effort,” says Andrea Pinabell, president of Southface Institute, per the release.
Essentially, every dollar saved on the power bill is one that could go toward rent or groceries or something else crucial, the logic goes.
“This donated solar array not only provides clean, affordable energy for this community development organization, but it also is a model for the neighborhood and other housing developers about solar’s potential across Atlanta,” said Codi Norred, program director for Georgia Interfaith Power & Light, the release adds.
Atlanta is also one of many U.S. cities that have committed to converting to 100 percent green energy by 2035.
(Header image: A mixed-use Quest project under development nearby, via Quest Communities)