Orlando closer to carbon neutrality with new multi-family solar solution

NewsJul 1, 2022

Benefits unlocked for tenants through ground-breaking shared solar project

Allume Energy (Allume), RENU Communities (RENU), and esaSolar today announced the successful commissioning of Orlando’s first behind-the-meter shared solar system in a multi-family building.

The first of its kind in the United States (U.S.), the shared solar system will generate clean renewable electricity for Canopy Villa Apartments (Canopy), a 296-unit, garden-style multi-family apartment complex in Orlando. By utilizing the cutting edge SolShare technology, residents of the community will be able to subscribe to a portion of the solar energy produced on the roof, offsetting the cost of their individual electricity bills.

Canopy is the first asset within the recently announced ESG-centric venture between Taurus Investment Holdings, LLC and Aegon Asset Management. Utilizing Taurus’ sustainable retrofit subsidiary, RENU, the partnership will acquire multifamily assets, aiming to significantly reduce the energy consumption and carbon output of those assets, in addition to improving the quality of life for residents with each project.

SolShare is the world’s only hardware for sharing rooftop solar with multiple apartments in the same building. The technology will maximize solar energy available for connected tenants and accelerate the transition to a carbon-neutral built environment, supporting RENU’s mission of decarbonizing the built environment.

“This innovative partnership represents RENU’s core values of constantly evaluating and implementing tailored solutions for our projects. We are excited for this collaboration, leveraging this technology to accelerate the distribution of clean energy and improve resiliency,” said Christopher Gray, PhD., Chief Technology Officer of RENU Communities.

With 21.9 million apartment units in the U.S., the success of this project is set to create a precedent for the multi-family real estate industry in Florida and beyond.

Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC—The Reliable One) worked with Allume, RENU and esaSolar to review and ensure this first-of-its-kind system for Florida met its interconnection and safety requirements. The system has the potential to significantly contribute to the City of Orlando’s net-zero goals and growing confidence in shared solar as a reliable power source for residents in multi-tenanted buildings.

RENU delivers decarbonized energy retrofits to existing real estate assets by combining state-of-the-art technology and real estate expertise to overhaul existing properties, transforming dated buildings into high-value, reduced-carbon assets. For Canopy, RENU partnered with esaSolar to develop, design, and install the solar array as well as integrate the SolShare technology to the existing electrical system.

As a local solar development and construction firm, esaSolar provided key technical consulting to ensure the system would operate correctly with OUC’s electric grid. “Because Orlando is one of the fastest growing cities in Florida, it needs to develop affordable housing solutions that also prioritize energy efficiency and sustainability,” said Morgan Brawner, esaSolar’s Vice President of Business Development.

SolShare, developed by Australian-born, Los Angeles based Allume Energy, as an answer for multi-tenanted residents wanting to access the environmental and economic benefits of rooftop solar, requires no change to the existing electricity supply and metering infrastructure. It sits entirely behind the meter, making it an affordable and scalable solution to expand access to solar globally.

“We are thrilled to see the SolShare in this milestone project unlocking a crucial part of offering carbon-neutral living in Florida. We look forward to expanding solar access to as many Floridian tenants while contributing to OUC’s net-zero energy goals,” said Mel Bergsneider, Allume’s Executive Account Manager.