Case Study: Hill View Apartments - Solar-Powered Comfort and Affordability in Havre, Montana

Project Introduction:

Nestled at 1280 10th Street W in Havre, Montana, Hill View Apartments stands as a testament to the symbiotic relationship between solar energy and affordable housing. This 52-unit affordable housing community, owned by MT Preservation HV LLLP, witnessed a remarkable transformation in December 2014. Liquid Solar Systems, the trusted installer, took on the ambitious task of implementing a solar hot water system with a capacity of 750 kBtu. The project involved equipping the complex with SunEarth flat plate solar collectors, stainless storage tanks, and a 95% efficient HTP water heater with a solar input coil. The total pre-incentive cost for this endeavor amounted to $90,000.

Renewable Energy Reinventing Affordable Housing:

Hill View Apartments is a beacon of hope for low-income residents in Havre, Montana. It boasts a unique dual approach to harnessing the power of the sun. Solar photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors work in harmony to generate electricity and hot water for the 52-unit complex. This project was part of a comprehensive renovation effort aimed at enhancing energy efficiency. Alongside the installation of solar systems, the renovation included increased insulation, new windows, and more efficient boilers.

The highlight of the renovation was the construction of a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient community building. This new facility not only offers meeting rooms and laundry facilities but also houses a Head Start school and a playground, fostering community engagement and well-rounded living.

MT Preservation HV LLLP, the driving force behind this transformation, is a partnership comprising HomeWORD, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating affordable and sustainable housing based in Missoula, and GMD Development from Seattle. The Hill View Apartments project is part of their mission to renovate five low-income housing complexes across Montana, creating better living environments for residents.

Energy-Efficiency for Comfort and Savings:

Julie Stiteler, Housing Project Manager with HomeWORD, emphasizes the multifaceted advantages of the project. The energy-efficient upgrades have made the apartments more comfortable throughout the year, ensuring cooler summers and warmer winters. While the property owner shoulders the utility costs for the complex, the reduced bills attributed to energy efficiency and solar power mean more resources are available to maintain the property, thereby enhancing the quality of life for residents.

Project Summary:

  • Location: Havre, MT
  • Application: Solar water heating for affordable housing complex
  • Solar Collectors: SunEarth EC40
  • System Format: Solar pre-heated water
  • Rated Power Output: 7.982 kW
  • Yearly Energy Output (kWh): 5,178.91 kWh
  • Metering: Monthly readings of BTU metering on solar controls

Contact Information:

Empowering Affordable Housing in Havre:

Hill View Apartments in Havre, Montana, embodies the potential of renewable energy in the realm of affordable housing. With the dedication of MT Preservation HV LLLP and the expertise of Liquid Solar Systems, a 750 kBtu solar hot water system was successfully implemented. Featuring SunEarth flat plate solar collectors, stainless storage tanks, and an efficient HTP water heater, this project was part of a broader renovation initiative. Beyond solar energy, the renovation encompassed energy-efficient enhancements such as increased insulation and improved boilers. A new community building, housing a Head Start school and playground, further enriches the lives of residents. The reduced utility bills, resulting from the combined efforts, not only enhance comfort but also provide valuable resources for ongoing property maintenance, underscoring the positive impact of sustainable and affordable living in Havre.

Hill View Apartments Project

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