Award-winning sustainable community in Florida now produces own electricity

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by Hadley Price
May 8, 2012

Seven homes in the Hancock Place subdivision of St. Augustine are now producing their own electricity from solar photovoltaic (PV) panels installed by Power Production Management, Inc. of Gainesville, Florida. Touted as one of Florida’s top sustainable communities, the Hancock Place neighborhood consists of 36 eco-friendly and green certified homes built by St. Johns Housing Partnership.

When the Hancock Place housing development was first conceived eight years ago St. Johns County officials were told by Bill Lazar, executive director of St. Johns Housing Partnership, energy efficiency and water conservation would be foremost in the development’s houses – which now includes, “devices such as photovoltaic panels, solar thermal panels, heat pump water heaters, solar pumps and super high-efficiency air conditioning units”, says Lazar.

A grant from the Florida Governor’s Energy Office will fund a two-year study to monitor several of the homes as an ongoing conservation and energy efficiency study conducted by the Housing Partnership and SEA Inc.

“Being a native of St Augustine, it brings me great joy to see these residents benefiting from clean, renewable power”, says Michael Collins of Power Production Management. Collins is a market analyst for PPM and was instrumental in coordinating the project.

Power Production Management is a full-service solar contracting company with a NABCEP certified solar installer and three State of Florida licensed contractors on staff. Headquartered in Gainesville, Florida, the company recently completed the solar electric system for the historic Seagle Building and University of Florida’s Beta Theta Pi fraternity house.  PPM is also in the final stages of installing a 250 kW solar-covered parking structure in downtown Gainesville.

St. Johns Housing Partnership promotes safe, decent and affordable housing in St. Johns County, Florida, primarily focusing on public and private sector projects that create low- and moderate-income housing that help rebuild neglected homes and neighborhoods. In July 2010 the Housing Partnership received the Collins Center for Public Policy’s Sustainable Florida Best Practices Award for green building. They competed against several other projects statewide.

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