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BEND, OR -- When Bend Area Habitat for Humanity switched on solar panels at its ReStore late last week, it turned up the volume on new-home construction. Sophie Paez tells KBND News when the ReStore opened on Northeast Third just a year ago, they were encouraged to apply for grants to supplement a new solar power system. "We were successful in obtaining three [grants], which allowed us to expand the system from 15 kw to, I believe it’s 55 kw. So, it got dramatically bigger. And the projections are that we will save about 90% of our power in the coming year."

 

And, Paez says the ReStore just hit a million dollars in gross sales – months ahead of expectations. "What that means is that we have basically stabilized the cash flow of our organization in the success we’ve had in the past year. And, we’ve already ramped up this year – we’re on track to build seven homes. We’re hoping in the next few years to get to ten." The ReStore funds Habitat's mission to provide affordable home ownership for low income families in Central Oregon.

 

Paez credits the new location, which provides higher visibility, for the ReStore's success. "It’s working so well we’re going to power on, and we’re talking about expanding the store next year, and consolidating our administrative offices onto this property so we can become even more efficient." She expects that construction project to begin in about a year. 

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