Low-income Chicago neighborhoods to add solar power

Monday, May 14, 2012 @ 08:05 AM
posted by rene5432

Several low-income housing buildings in Chicago could soon be running on renewable electricity, according to Crain's Chicago Business.

Hispanic Housing Development Corp. announced that it has started a new project that will add solar power installations to 21 residential buildings in the Humboldt Park, Logan Square, West Town and Rogers Park neighborhoods.

Hippolito Roldan, president and CEO of the group, told the news source that the new solar power installations are expected to produce more than 1 million kilowatt-hours of green energy each year, accounting for anywhere from 17 percent to 25 percent of the buildings' energy needs.

The new project will cost around $7 million, but will provide renewable electricity for more than 3,900 low-income Chicago residents.

"There are benefits to the property itself because over time it will have reduced operating costs from the renewable energy systems," Roldan explained. "That sets the stage for getting additional income in the operating mix and onsite managers will have the option of what to do with the extra capital. They can make improvements in the building or directly in some of the apartments."

Illinois has been a growing center for green energy in the past few years, particularly with the rise of wind energy around much of the Midwest, as well as the new emissions regulations that have forced the closure of some coal plants.

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