Aquatera becomes first City of San Diego apartment to switch to 100% solar


Aquatera becomes first City of San Diego apartment to switch to 100% solar

The 254-unit Mission Valley apartment expanded its solar energy system and added smart thermostats to all units so that its residents can control their energy use and reduce their energy bills to zero

SAN DIEGO (Aug. 17, 2015)— For several years, the benefits of solar energy have been confined to single family homeowners and residents of subsidized housing, but nearly one-third of City of San Diego residents live in a multi-family, market-rate apartment. Now, for the first time, a local apartment community has converted to become a net-zero 100-percent solar electricity community with the energy savings being passed on to its residents. 

Aquatera opened at 5777 Mission Center Rd. in 2009 and initially had solar for its common areas and swimming pool, but since April 2015, it has been producing 100 percent of its electrical energy needs from the sun for all 254 apartment units. Aquatera symbolizes a new era in solar energy as one of the first, and the only in Mission Valley, market-rate apartment communities in the nation to achieve net-zero through on-site renewable energy.  Aquatera residents can now get all of the electrical energy they need from the sun, enjoy a sustainable lifestyle and save money on electricity.

A new 3,251 panel solar system installed by San Diego’s Home Energy Systems is generating $175,000 in energy savings for residents who can control their individual energy consumption thanks to their new Nest smart thermostats. Six electric vehicle charging stations have also been installed by NRG EVgo, allowing residents to charge their vehicles with solar energy.

“We know that today’s resident wants to live an eco-friendly lifestyle,” said Mike Neal, president and CEO of H.G. Fenton Company, which owns and manages Aquatera. “Through this innovative solar program, we can deliver the benefits of solar energy and electric vehicle charging as well as pass on the cost savings to a market that has historically been left out. Not every apartment community is suitable for such a conversion but we felt the time was right to make it happen at Aquatera.”

Aquatera exceeds California’s energy efficiency standards and includes many other sustainable features like an underground well system for watering, drought-tolerant plants and synthetic turf in place of grass. When it opened, Aquatera was celebrated with a Water Smart award from the San Diego County Water Authority. Aquatera is the third market-rate all-solar apartment community in San Diego with virtual net metering (VNM) and one of the first in the nation to offer “net zero” living to customers.

H.G. Fenton Company and its project partners will host a solar-powered poolside celebration at Aquatera on Aug. 27 from 6-9 p.m. at 5777 Mission Center Rd. This event will showcase the newest advancements in sustainable living including an electric vehicle showcase as well as live music, and complimentary food and beverage. It benefits the non-profit Solar Alliance Foundation which provides the power of the sun to veterans. RSVP is required at

About H.G. Fenton 

H.G. Fenton Company, a family-owned San Diego real estate company, has proudly entered its second century of service providing quality working and living experiences through responsible development and management practices. H.G. Fenton Company creates lifestyle opportunities where employees flourish, residents live well, and businesses succeed for over 1,100 businesses, and across 14 apartment communities totaling over 3,300 homes in San Diego County.  For more information, visit