Case Study: Larkspur Commons - Fostering Affordability with Solar Energy in Bozeman
Nestled in the sun-drenched landscape of Bozeman, Montana, the Larkspur Commons stands as a testament to the commitment of its owners to renewable energy systems. Bozeman, blessed with over 200 sunny days annually, is the perfect setting for embracing the power of the sun to reduce utility costs, lower carbon footprints, and enhance the affordability of living. In 2016, Liquid Solar Systems, a local installer, played a pivotal role in the successful implementation of a 4,000 square foot solar hot water system at Larkspur Commons. This system comprises 16 solar thermal systems utilizing SunEarth EC-40 Collectors, each integrated with 216 gallons of storage capacity, making it the largest system of its kind in the state of Montana. Presently, it meets 60% to 75% of the annual hot water demand, contributing significantly to cost savings for residents and ensuring that utility costs remain manageable.
Affordable Housing for Bozeman's Growth:
Bozeman's rapid expansion has given rise to soaring rent prices, posing challenges for residents and communities. The pressing need for affordable housing solutions led to the emergence of the Larkspur Commons, a project spearheaded by Homeword in collaboration with GMD Development, Rotherham Construction, the City of Bozeman, and numerous other stakeholders. Larkspur Commons offers 136 units spanning from one to three bedrooms, all designed for families with incomes ranging from 50% to 60% below the area's median income.
In their commitment to alleviating utility expenses for residents, Larkspur Commons chose to incorporate an expansive solar hot water system into their development. With the support of Liquid Solar Systems, this solar system extends over 4,000 square feet and harnesses the sun's energy to provide sustainable, cost-effective hot water. The system comprises 16 solar thermal units, each equipped with SunEarth EC-40 Collectors and 216 gallons of storage capacity. As of today, the Larkspur Commons system effectively meets 60% to 75% of the annual hot water requirements, contributing to a more affordable and sustainable living environment.
- Location: Bozeman, MT
- Application: Solar water heating for affordable housing complex (8 buildings; 150 apartments)
- Solar Collectors: Sun Earth EC40
- System Format: Solar pre-heated water for tenant's water heaters
- Storage Capacity: 16 solar thermal systems; Each with 216 gallons of storage
- Rated Power Output: 13.30 kW (per system)
- Yearly Energy Output (kWh): 8,631 kWh (per system)
- Metering: Monthly readings of BTU metering on solar controls
Affordable Housing with a Solar Twist in Bozeman:
Larkspur Commons in Bozeman, Montana, is a beacon of affordable housing in a region with soaring rent costs. To alleviate the utility expenses for residents and promote sustainability, the Larkspur Commons embarked on an ambitious solar project. In collaboration with Liquid Solar Systems, they installed an expansive 4,000 square foot solar hot water system, featuring 16 solar thermal units equipped with SunEarth EC-40 Collectors and 216 gallons of storage capacity, the largest system of its kind in Montana. This system now fulfills 60% to 75% of the annual hot water requirements, making living at Larkspur Commons not only affordable but also sustainable. The project's dedication to renewable energy is a shining example of a brighter future for affordable housing in the Bozeman community.