St. Patrick’s Day may be over, but Kenmore Development is going green — all year long.
We’re proud to announce that we recently installed solar panels on our Gateway Park Apartments in North Tonawanda — meaning that residents at this apartment community will now get their energy from the sun.
Gateway Goes Green
The solar panels that have recently been installed at Gateway Park Apartments are Canadian Solar 325 watt panels, which can produce solar energy for up to 30 years or more.
The panels were installed by Montante Solar, located right in Tonawanda. Gateway’s solar array is a 64.35kW DC system, which will produce 72,000 kWh of energy annually.
According to Montante Business Development Manager Cameron McDonald, the array will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 105,000 pounds a year, which is equal to 6,000 gallons of gasoline consumed or 63 acres of forest sequestering carbon dioxide annually.
The solar array is now fully installed at Gateway Park Apartments, but nothing has changed for residents, Kenmore Development President Scott Hunt says. The only difference, he says, is that renters can take comfort in the fact that they’re now using renewable energy, rather than just consuming limited resources.
“It’s nice to be able to say to our residents, electric is included in your rent, and some of that electric is coming from the sun,” Hunt added.
First Solar in North Tonawanda
The $150,000 project was a long time coming for Kenmore Development and faced some unique challenges due to the age of the Gateway Apartments building, but ultimately resulted in a finished product that’s among the first of its kind in North Tonawanda.
“This is one of the first commercial solar arrays in North Tonawanda — if not the first,” says McDonald.
Adds Kenmore Development President Scott Hunt, “This was completely unchartered territory. I don’t know any other apartment community or commercial building in North Tonawanda that has a solar array.”
McDonald says that extensive work had to be done to ready the building for solar and credits Kenmore Development for taking steps to bring the past into the future.
“It’s really cool because we’re taking this old, 150-year-old building that’s gorgeous and bringing it into the 21st century,” he says. “That old building is now home to some new technology.”
The Benefits of Solar
McDonald says that going solar offers positive benefits for businesses like Kenmore Development, and can help make the Gateway Park apartment community more attractive to renters who care about preserving the planet.
“By going solar you are making a conscious choice as a business to source all or some of your electrical needs from a renewable resource,” he says. “The intangible benefits companies gain from solar are an elevated view from consumers and the marketplace.”
But for Hunt, it’s about more than just business and attracting environmentally conscious renters.
“This makes us a greener company,” he says. “There are some renters out there who will choose a green building over another — that’s a practical business interest, but certainly there is the bigger picture.”
Hunt says that he ultimately decided to install the solar panels “because it’s the right thing to do and it’s the future.”
“From the standpoint of a manager and a business owner, this is the example I want to set for my kids,” he says.
“It’s really important for people in my generation to set that example for the future generations so they can take it and run with it.”
Future Kenmore Development Solar Projects
Hunt is looking toward the future and is already planning to expand solar to some other Kenmore Development properties in 2018 and 2019. Riverview Manor Apartments and 80 Clinton St. are among the properties under consideration, he says.
“There are other Kenmore Development buildings that we’ll be looking to install solar arrays on,” he says. “It requires a significant amount of capitol upfront, but it’s worth it.”
As Kenmore Development adds solar panels to more of its properties throughout Buffalo and Niagara Falls, we’ll be looking to become a more environmentally responsible company — and encourage our renters to take their own steps to go green within their own apartments.