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Vista Sunrise Apartments

The Vista Sunrise Apartments provide comfortable, energy-efficient community living in Palm Springs, California. The complex is located next to the Desert AIDS Project and grants easy access to its services. Vista Sunrise has always provided state-of-the-art appliances and generous use of natural light to help keep electricity costs down, but management decided in late 2009 to ramp up that commitment by installing a large-scale 110 kW solar PV system.

Building administrators were able to take advantage of Sunwheel Energy Partners’ solar financing service and the MASH (Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing) California state rebate to get the project moving, and by early 2010, Real Goods Solar finished installing PV module-topped carport structures across the Vista Sunrise campus.

The system’s 480 solar PV modules were incorporated into carport structures in the complex’s parking areas. This allowed the modules to be elevated above shadows falling on the ground and mounted at the optimal angle for collecting solar radiation. Residents love this mounting solution not only because of the green power the panels provide, but also because they can park their cars out of the scorching Central California sun underneath the carports.
Size110 kW
Production159,656 kWh/year
PV modulesSharp 230W (480 modules)
LocationPalm Springs, CA
Online since2010
System Offsets*AnnualLifetime
Pounds of CO2242,7116,067,775
Miles driven253,1526,328,800
Trees planted2,82370,575


*Calculations based on EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalency Calculator. System lifetime is assumed to be 25 years.