2013 Renewable Energy Power Award Small Community Project

Winner

Little Deschutes Lodge II
Photo: Courtesy of Pacific Crest Affordable Housing
Little Deschutes Lodge II in LaPine, Ore. features a 32.2kW solar PV system, a solar thermal system and a geothermal heating and cooling system.

Little Deschutes Lodge II

Developer: Pacific Crest Affordable Housing LLC
La Pine, Ore.

The winner of the 2014 Small Community Project Award is Pacific Crest Affordable Housing for its Little Deschutes Lodge II project in La Pine, Ore. Little Deschutes Lodge II, a 26-unit independent living apartment building for low-income and homeless seniors, features a 32.2 kW solar PV system, a solar thermal system and a geothermal heating and cooling system.

The 26,850 square foot building, which is the second phase of the Little Deschutes Lodge project, features a community room, a reading/game room, computer stations, a gym and 12 raised bed gardens to support social interaction and promote a sense of comfort and security. Rents range from $357 to $614 a month, including all utilities, and will remain restricted for 60 years. In addition, 40 percent of the units are reserved for the homeless.

Pacific Crest Affordable Housing was able to provide affordable and energy-efficient housing by combining a variety of local and federal financial incentives. The financing package totaled nearly $5.24 million dollars and included LIHTCs, a grant from the Oregon Housing Development Grant Program, a permanent loan from the Network for Oregon Affordable Housing, state affordable housing tax credits, Oregon Business Energy Tax Credits, federal investment tax credits (ITC), equity from Pacific Crest Affordable Housing, a 20-year 100 percent tax exemption provided by the City of La Pine and land donated by Deschutes County.

In addition to the renewable energy systems, other energy and cost saving features were installed, such as and include efficient lighting, solar tubes and ENERGY STAR-rated appliances. Wayne Powderly, senior project manager of SunWest Builders, the general contractor for Little Deschutes Lodge II, says energy modeling performed by R&W Engineering indicates the property’s energy features will save 298,992 kW and $20,182 annually. This is a 67 percent savings compared to standard construction.

Little Deschutes Lodge II demonstrates financial innovation and serves as an example for community-focused projects because the use of renewable energy will minimize the impact of the development’s energy footprint on the community and also supports the long-term viability of the property. Powderly says the energy-saving efforts will help hedge against rising utility costs, to keep rents affordable for the low-income senior population.

Congratulations to Pacific Crest Affordable Housing for providing affordable and energy-efficient housing to the low-income and senior population of La Pine, Ore.

“Providing a vision for local collaboration [for] affordable… energy efficient housing to some of the neediest members of the community by combining a variety of local and federal financial incentives and energy efficiency technology,” said Chris Bailey, a 2014 Renewable Energy Power Awards judge.

Honorable Mention

St. Albans Solar Farm
Photo: Courtesy of Shoreline Aerial Photography, LLC, Joe Larkin
The St. Albans Soar Farm features a 2.7MW DC and a 2.2MW AC solar array on a leasehold parcel in St. Albans, Vt.

St. Albans Solar Farm

Developer: Larkin Realty
St. Albans, Vt.

The honorable mention for the 2014 Small Community Project Award is presented to Larkin Reality for developing the St. Albans Solar Farm project, which is a 2.7MW DC and a 2.2MW AC solar array located on a leasehold parcel in the small rural community of St. Albans, Vt.

According to Luke Shullenberger, a partner with Green Lantern Capital, the financing firm behind the project, Larkin Reality collaborated with Green Lantern Capital to leverage local capital and first time solar investors to build one of the largest solar equipment systems in Vermont. Larkin Reality used a lease-passthrough financing structure that received $25 million from three local capital sources. The project also used a pre-paid rent financing technique, called a Section 467 loan, to structure the tax equity investment.

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