Case Study: Pamela’s Place Solar PV



System: 29.20 kW, 80 REC 365W Twin Peak black panels

Cost: $75,920 ($2.60/W)

Estimated Annual Production: 50,785 kWh or ≈10% of estimated annual consumption 

Public Monitoring: 


Installer: Sunus, Sunus also donated a portion of their labor


Pamela’s Place Apartments (525 S. 500 West, SLC) is a five-story, 100-bed facility dedicated to permanent supportive housing for the region’s chronically homeless. The site includes a full clinic, dedicated case-workers, special facilities for gardening and pets, and various social services and community spaces. 

Pamela’s Place leans into trauma-informed design, hoping to provide a supportive environment for the tenants and staff. The building is also zero-emission/all-electric, utilizing mini-splits for occupant comfort and a centralized, hybrid heat pump water heater for domestic hot water. 

Giv Communities was the consulting developer for Pamela’s Place Apartments. 


Giv Communities successfully pursued two rounds of project funding. We pitched a two-phase project with the hope of condensing it into a single-phase to make the best use of grant funding. 

20 HonnoldFoundation Logo Full Gray RGB

Honnold Foundation, yep that Alex Honnold. Alex’s philanthropy started well before Free Solo, and his team continues to “promot[e] renewable energy for a more equitable world.” Honnold Foundation was the first money into this project extending $10,000 worth of support. 

Honnold Foundation has been excellent to work with. They are clear on their mission, highly organized, and almost selfless in their approach to recognition. We’d happily work them again. 

BlueSky RE RMP lockup

With first money in, we applied to Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky Community Project Application. Giv has had a long and productive relationship with Rocky Mountain Power, and this program is an excellent resource for nonprofit commercial projects. Blue Sky is a thorough application, and while it is a lot of work, many of the expectations are in the project’s best interest. For example, pursuing multiple bids is a best practice and also informative. Pamela’s Place was not a straightforward installation, and the bidding process helped me understand the best installer for this project. Blue Sky rewards this effort generously and provided $65,920 worth of support.

We genuinely appreciate the support from Honnold Foundation and Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky Community Projects. The solar PV will have a lasting impact on Pamela’s Place and the underlying mission of permanent housing. Thank you! 

Benefits of Solar Ready

Giv Group designs all buildings to be solar PV ready as well as EV charger-ready and battery-ready. NREL has a good summary of solar-ready building design, and the highlights are:

  • A roof designed to handle the additional loads of solar
  • Rooftop equipment layout that optimizes the PV system’s configuration and optimization
    • Note: we did our best with Pamela’s Place, and it was not an easy layout, inspection, or optimization for our solar team.
  • Pre-run conduit, chases, or other infrastructure for system wiring
  • Dedicated space for inverters

The benefit to being solar-ready is that it reduces installation costs and installation time. 

Looking Forward

While the Housing Authority of Salt Lake City receives the immediate benefit of rooftop solar PV, we are looking forward to incorporating onsite battery systems as an extension of Rocky Mountain Power’s Battery Program