Utah’s first energy-neutral mixed-use building unveiled in Salt Lake City

From on 02/05/2014 in Category Solar Spotlight with 0 Comments

Mixed-use buildings are becoming a popular sight in today’s urban development landscape. Combining residential and commercial space provides diversified opportunities for property managers and the unique option for residents to live mere steps away from where they work—creating a commute-free living scenario.

The complex’s rooftop modules feed DC power into Sunny Boy 7000-US inverters mounted inside a climate-controlled electrical room

The complex’s rooftop modules feed DC power into Sunny Boy 7000-US inverters mounted inside a climate-controlled electrical room

Becoming net-zero

Artspace Utah took things a step further by opening Utah’s first mixed-use net-zero complex. Artspace Solar Gardens opened in August 2013, boasting a 338kW solar system that generates enough power to offset the complex’s energy demands.

The system, designed and installed by Sunlight Solar Systems of Salt Lake City, uses 372 SunPower 435W roof-mounted modules with 23 Sunny Boy 7000-US inverters and 535 SunPower 327W carport-mounted modules with 24 Sunny Boy 7000-US inverters mounted outside on four Sunny Towers.

SMA inverters are ready to withstand Salt Lake City’s often harsh winters.

SMA inverters are ready to withstand Salt Lake City’s often harsh winters.

“During the project design phase, we knew string inverters would be the best fit for this system. We chose SMA inverters for two main reasons,” said Cammy Staker, Sunlight Solar Systems’ operations manager. “The ease of installation made it simple for our crew to mount and inspect each inverter and the harsh winter conditions in Salt Lake City meant only the highest quality inverters could be used.”

Urban living

Installing the system was no easy feat. The seven person crew mounted and wired more than 900 modules in six weeks to ensure the complex was ready for its grand opening and first set of tenants.

Crews install the carport’s modules using scissor lifts during the complex’s construction.

Crews install the carport’s modules using scissor lifts during the complex’s construction.

Enjoying downtown living is only one of the perks for tenants: the complex is located within blocks of a bike path and the Salt Lake City’s TRAX light rail system, not to mention the joy of life without a monthly electrical bill. Residents are even encouraged to monitor the system’s power generating through public access to its Sunny Portal page.

Solar Spotlight aims to highlight SMA inverters in real-world situations. Email us with information about your SMA-powered PV projects at SocialMedia@SMA-America.com.

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