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Published on March 18th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

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Solar-Powered Affordable Housing In Chicago



Reposted from Solar Love:

Kyocera Solar and VGI Energy have teamed up to put solar power on some affordable, multi-family housing units in Chicago.

“VGI’s retrofitted buildings throughout Chicago have been outfitted with 20kW rooftop solar arrays, providing electricity from the clean, renewable energy of the sun and contributing to VGI’s goal of achieving zero-net-energy-capable buildings,” the companies noted in a recent press release.

And this is not the first time the two have teamed up to help more people go solar. “Since 2010, VGI has installed Kyocera solar modules on six Chicago buildings ranging in size from 18 to 70 units, providing more than 600 people with the opportunity to use renewable energy in their daily lives.”

I’m sure you’ve heard of Kyocera, but VGI Energy might be a new name to you — it was to me. VGI is apparently a socially and green-minded company, an arm of VLV Development, that is working hard to improve the lives (and help the pocketbooks) of Chicago’s less affluent. “VGI’s vision is to transform and preserve the current state of affordable multi-family housing in the City of Chicago — breathing new life into buildings with a sharp eye toward sustainability by installing LED lighting, energy-efficient windows, ENERGY STAR® appliances and water-efficient plumbing fixtures,” the press release added.


“Our housing developments aim to enhance the quality of life for each resident with programs that integrate independent lifestyles with a sense of community; utilizing solar energy to reduce the environmental footprint is a key component,” said Van Vincent, CEO, VGI Energy. “Our partnership with Kyocera plays a very strategic role in our commitment to bringing solar power to an underserved sector of the population: residents of low-income, urban areas.”

In particular, Kyocera’s MyGen™ Pro system was used in the newest Chicago project. The system includes:

  • Kyocera’s solar modules,
  • Enphase and SMA inverters,
  • mounting systems, and
  • monitoring packages.

“Kyocera’s MyGen Pro offering is ideal for this application because it gives VGI choice and flexibility when incorporating proven, reliable solar energy into virtually any housing structure while saving crucial time,” said Steve Hill, president, Kyocera Solar Inc. “Kyocera has been at the forefront of the solar energy industry for almost 40 years, which gives us unrivaled metrics and expertise in ensuring our systems are highly effective and that these affordable, multi-family buildings will continue producing clean, renewable energy for decades to come.”

There’s your feelgood story for the day. Hope you enjoyed it, and don’t forget to share it with others!

Related stories on Important Media:

  1. In California, Affordable Solar Power For The 99%
  2. Deutsche Bank Report May Unlock Billions More for Energy Efficiency Retrofits in Multifamily Housing
  3. Apartment Buildings Could Save Billions with Energy Efficiency Improvements
  4. Energy Benchmarking Key to Realizing $9 Billion in Savings in Apartments and Condos: Benefits for Owners and Renters

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



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