Located in Poway, California, a suburb of San Diego, Solara provides affordable apartments for low-income residents who earn between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income. Developed by nonprofit Community HousingWorks, the 56-unit complex is powered entirely through a 142-kilowatt photovoltaic system and is the first project recognized under California’s Zero Energy New Homes program. The efficiency of the solar array–Solara exports energy to the grid even at peak demand–allows tenants to pay no utility costs. The 2.5-acre (one-hectare) project includes a number of other sustainable and green building features such as passive solar design, low-maintenance landscaping, and the use of recycled materials throughout the site.

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