Massachusetts Real-Estate Development Goes Solar

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New incentives make solar a sound real-estate investment

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With a one year return of investment on a project of this scope, we're clearly well past parity, proving that solar power is now a solid short term investment with long term benefits of clean, affordable energy.

The first question most people ask when considering solar is, "how long until solar pays off?" When Princeton Properties CEO Andrew Chaban found out from national solar installer and distributor, groSolar, that installing solar electric on the company's Salem apartments would pay for itself in less than a year, he was more than a little curious.

groSolar is designing the 347 kilowatt project, expected to begin installation in September. The project will consist of close to 2,000 roof-mounted photovoltaic panels and will power 100 percent of the common areas in the Princeton Crossing apartment community on Heritage Drive in Salem. Common areas in the 300,375 square-foot complex range from the parking lot lights to the laundry facilities. The solar electric system will result in an estimated annual savings of $73,000 in the site's electric bill.

"This is one of the larger single-site solar projects in the state, and we're excited to be moving in this direction," said Kurt Shillington, Operations Manager at Princeton Properties. "We've always been concerned with efficiency and responsible development. We consider this a first step into the solar arena and hope to incorporate more projects into our company's green efforts. Once groSolar did the feasibility studies and showed us the numbers, we realized that solar was an affordable piece of the puzzle. It just made sense."

The extraordinarily fast return of investment is due to a combination of incentives and credits provided by the state-funded Commonwealth Solar and the federal government. Commonwealth Solar was created in early 2008, by the Department of Energy & Resources and the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust. The organization has only one purpose: to accelerate the number of solar electric projects in Massachusetts.

"The solar industry has long been looking forward to the day when the cost of solar power is on par with conventional power sources. We call it 'grid parity,'" said groSolar Direct Sales Representative Dan Porrazzo. "With a one year return of investment on a project of this scope, we're clearly well past parity, proving that solar power is now a solid short term investment with long term benefits of clean, affordable energy."

"Our CEO had great enthusiasm for this project, and he was determined to make it happen," said Claire Collins, VP of Marketing at Princeton Properties. "We've looked into solar before, but decided against it. groSolar helped us see that we can do the right thing for the environment supports our bottom-line at the same time."

About Princeton Properties
Princeton Properties Management, Inc. acquires, renovates, leases and manages apartment communities with a focus on furnished corporate apartments and investment for long-term ownership. The company increases the value of its property through strong, hands-on management, creative marketing, tight control of expenses and sound financial planning.

Princeton Properties manages its investments by carefully maintaining its apartment communities and trying to find residents who will do the same. The company's employees all understand residents' problems must be attended to quickly and with a smile. Learn more at http://www.princetonproperties.com or call 978-458-8700.

About groSolar
groSolar is North America's premier distributor, installer and integrator of solar energy solutions for residential and commercial installations. Founded in 1998, groSolar is the largest 100 percent U.S.-owned distribution company in the solar industry. The company has offices and warehouses across the continent, distributing solar electric and solar hot water systems from offices in VT, NJ, NY, CT, MA, MD, DE, PA, CO, MT, and CA. groSolar integrates components from leading solar manufacturers including Evergreen Solar, PanelClaw, Motech, Heliodyne, SMA, Fronius and UniRac into simple solar energy solutions for customers that generate clean, reliable energy for decades. groSolar is a mission-driven company dedicated to providing high quality solar energy solutions and whole energy appreciation. groSolar's venture capital investors include NGP Energy Technology Partners, SJF Ventures, and Calvert Social Investment Fund. Learn more at http://www.grosolar.com or call 800.374.4494.

Contact:
Gaelan Brown
VP of Marketing
groSolar, Inc.
802.359.6528
802.295.4417 (fax)
gaelan (dot) brown (at) grosolar (dot) com
http://www.groSolar.com

Kevin Ellis
Kimbell Sherman Ellis, LLP
802-229-4900 x107
802-371-8112 (cell)
kevin (at) kse50 (dot) com
Photography Is Available

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Gaelan Brown

Kevin Ellis
Kimbell Sherman Ellis, LLP
802-229-4900 ext. 107
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