In Hurricane Stricken New Orleans, a Solar Microgrid Kept the Lights on in This Apartment Building for Low Income Vets

By District Energy posted 09-06-2021 10:00

  

Good News Network

Summary

Another hurricane, another power outage? In the state of Louisiana, one apartment complex is keeping the lights on—a beacon of hope in New Orleans.

St. Peter Residential, which opened one month before the pandemic began, built in that emergency functionality using an 8-hour solar battery and a panel array on its roof—and it kept the units running after Hurricane Ida made landfall.

At $7.4 million, the 45,000 square foot building is the first net-zero emission apartment complex in the state, meaning it offsets or removes as much power as it generates onsite. Designed as “a calming oasis intent on building community in a dense urban environment,” the 50-unit, mixed-income living spaces are served by a microgrid of 450 solar panels that generate electricity on demand, and stored excess power in a battery located in the parking lot.

St. Peter was designed to cultivate a community (with the inclusion of a wellness center for yoga and meditation and common event and outdoor spaces), and importantly, half of the 50 units—29 affordable apartments and 21 market-rate units—are reserved for veterans.

The microgrid has now seen three storms: Hurricane Zeta which took out power in the area last October, Winter Storm Uri which resulted in the same thing, and now Hurricane Ida.

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