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San Diego’s first 100% PV apartment community, Solterra EcoLuxury coming soon

Solar communities are growing across the country, but thus far few, if any apartment communities have been built to take advantage of the sun from the ground up. That’s about to change, H.G. Fenton Co. is nearing completion on the first 100 percent PV apartment community in San Diego, Solterra EcoLuxury Apartments in Scripps Ranch.

The complex of 114 apartments takes advantage of laws and regulations passed in 2011 and 2012 allowing virtual net-metering, so each apartment is individually metered even though the arrays power the whole building. With normal net-metering each apartment would have to have its own dedicated solar array with its own meter and connection to the grid. The solar system was designed to provide 100 percent of the energy used in the apartments with excess energy produced being used to offset metered energy use at night so tenants may have no utility bill.

The apartments also have garages pre-wired for electric vehicle (EV) charging and in-home virtual net metering displays that let them easily monitor their kilowatt usage. “We are very proud to offer San Diegoians the first market rate, 100 percent photovoltaic apartment community that will provide solar generated electricity for all 114 units as well as common areas,” said Mike Neal, H.G. Fenton CEO.

The buildings in the complex are 19 percent more efficient than California’s 2013 building energy efficiency standards (Title 24), according to the company. To get there they include programmable, smart thermostats, GE Energy Star appliances and washers and dryers. The community’s common areas, like the clubhouse and pool, are solar-powered, too. The company said it also used drought tolerant landscaping and a smart drip water irrigation system to reduce use of water.


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