Cohousing community shines with solar

Sharp OnEnergy system

November 27, 2007 Originating in Denmark, cohousing is a concept whereby residents actively participate in operation of their own neighborhoods and are committed to living as a community. In Colorado, one such neighborhood is installing solar systems into homes and a shop, supplying half of the community's electrical needs and reducing their carbon footprint.

Nyland neighborhood will install 23 solar system units in the community by the end of 2007 thanks to a collaboration between Sharp and Namaste Solar Electric. This initiative will meet more than 50% of the electrical needs of the planned cohousing neighborhood. The systems to be installed are Sharp’s OnEnergy solar electric systems that blend into existing building designs and use a simplified mounting system to make installation faster, easier and more cost-effective.

The OnEnergy system includes Sharp's PV solar technology and is available in made-to-order kits customized to specific system needs. The racking system is compatible with most roofing materials, on both peaked and hipped roofs, for retrofit or new construction. The OnEnergy system is designed to avoid cutting, drilling and horizontal rails whilst allowing vertical bolts, minimal tool changes, one flow up the roof and an ultra-low profile.

Nyland is a cohousing community of 42 private homes located in a rural setting six miles outside of Boulder, Colorado, with an expansive view of the Rocky Mountains. There are approximately 135 resident members with varied backgrounds, careers, ages and views that share meals, meetings, workshops and miscellaneous events at the common house - a centerpiece of the neighborhood. “The Nyland community’s commitment to solar demonstrates true environmental stewardship that can be emulated by communities across the country," said Ron Kenedi, vice president of Sharp Solar Energy Solutions Group.

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