FAC Solar is the first of Brooklyn's second largest owner and operator of affordable housing, a 46 building multi-family building portfolio. Fifth Avenue Committee, Inc. (FAC) together with Project Team partners Community Grid & Electric (CGE), Brooklyn Power (BP), and Zero Carbon Corporation (ZCC) are developing a portfolio of solar photovoltaic arrays on all economically and structurally viable rooftops of FAC-owned affordable housing and community facility properties. The partnership with FAC provides families living in multi-family building with the cost savings and sustainability benefits from solar electricity currently enjoyed by single-family homeowners.
FAC Solar Project Sponsor Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC) is a 39 year old community development corporation established in 1978 with the mission to advance economic and social justice in South Brooklyn and throughout NYC by building vibrant, diverse communities where residents have genuine opportunities to achieve their goals and the power to shape the community’s future. To achieve its mission, FAC develops and manages affordable housing and community facilities; creates economic opportunities and ensures access to economic stability; provides student-centered adult education and literacy classes; organizes residents and workers; and combats displacement caused by gentrification.
Lead Developer Community Grid & Electric (CGE) (d/b/a Gowanus Grid & Electric) is a Brooklyn-based developer and retail distributor for Community Distributed Generation projects and local energy benefits. CGE and the project team specialize in multifamily and commercial properties in NYC.
For phase one of the project, FAC owned and operated buildings will host rooftop solar systems providing benefits to tenants via direct utility cost savings, education and support to reduce overall energy use. The project will provide solar electricity benefits from 450 kW of Community Distributed Solar to more than 500 families living in South Brooklyn.
FAC Solar will build upon the energy efficiency efforts of FAC Renaissance, an affordable housing preservation project through which FAC is currently renovating 146 affordable apartments for low- and moderate-income families in 21 buildings throughout its south Brooklyn catchment. FAC Renaissance includes significant upgrades to building systems and energy efficiency improvements that will contain energy expenses going forward.
With regard to FAC tenants, over 50% qualify as “very low income” residents, defined as earning less than 50% of AMI. More than 25% of FAC’s units under management are set aside for formerly homeless individuals and families, and over 35% of FAC’s tenants are themselves formerly homeless families. Our tenants have a very limited ability to adjust to increasing costs of living, including increasing energy costs.
FAC Solar is a portfolio-wide project focusing on multi-family affordable housing and low- and moderate-income tenants in NYC. As such, the project will be the first of its kind in NYC and establish a model for affordable housing organizations to support permanent affordability through the use of solar power while directly benefiting tenants and piloting a workforce development training program in a growing sector of the economy.
The FAC Solar Project Team specializes in using submetering to amplify the value of solar in multifamily and commercial properties in NYC, a very unique niche in NYC Solar Development. The team’s approach yields greater value per unit of solar electricity for the sponsor (FAC), and FAC’s low and moderate income tenants through the combination of solar, direct sub-metering and energy management, and balance of power sales. The combination of all three parts increases energy savings and project cash flow, leading to projects with increased scale and greater sustainability benefits.
FAC Solar offers an exciting opportunity to help with the launch of a cutting edge, community-owned affordable solar model. The model, if successful, will help community based organizations citywide deliver sustainability, cost savings and resiliency benefits to low and moderate income families in multi-family buildings that have varying corporate structures.