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River Garden Apartments: The Largest Southeast Neighborhood Powered by Solar Energy

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Before Hurricane Katrina hit the Southeast coast, the St Thomas Housing Project was known as a low-income neighborhood with high crime rates. Nowadays, however, it is turning into a green dream place to live, thanks to several governmental agencies that decided to invest in renewable technologies.

River Garden Apartments is situated over a square mile of land. The 420 kW of photovoltaics installed on the roofs, make it the largest solar neighborhood in the Southeast and the largest project in Louisiana.

Although installing the PV systems on multiple rooftops at a specific angle presented a challenge, Kathleen Zipp from Solar Power World states that the problem was solved using SolarEdge power optimization system. It allows real time monitoring of various arrays, followed by sending of web-based alerts on faults and underperformance.

Furthermore, to ensure safety, the system uses the so called ‘SafeDC’ mechanism. It has inverters and power optimizers that make the installation process safe and it is particularly important for areas prone to hurricane hits.

These new developments cut down the electricity costs for the residents by as much as $50 a month. According to Micah Galy from Pontchartrain Mechanical Co., the community is now able to stabilize their energy costs for the long term and to sustain itself using reliable renewable energy.

Via: Clean Technica

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