Pacific Station North Receives EPIC Challenge Grant

Date Posted: 04.24.2022

Pacific Station North has been awarded an Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Challenge grant from the California Energy Commission. The EPIC program provides financial support for research and projects that incorporate emerging technologies and help California transition to a low-carbon, resilient and equitable energy economy.

This round of EPIC grants, “Reimagining Mixed Use Affordable Housing in a Carbon Constrained Future,” funds projects “that will challenge multi-disciplinary project teams to design and build a mixed-use development—using cutting-edge energy technologies, tools and construction practices—that is affordable, equitable, emissions-free and resilient to climate change impacts and extreme weather events.” Pacific Station North is one of only twelve projects selected from across the state to showcase how affordability, electrification and grid-efficient buildings can converge in a vision of our future energy system.

Pacific Station North is a transit-oriented development located at the edge of downtown Santa Cruz, creating a new transit station for Santa Cruz Metro and a prominent new pedestrian connection between the downtown retail corridor and the ocean-adjacent Beach Flats neighborhood. Ninety-five units of affordable housing serve the needs of families seeking to live near services, jobs and transit. The net-zero, all-electric building design utilizes about 37% less energy than the code baseline. The 600 kW solar canopy over the bus bays meets 100% of the building’s energy needs onsite. Mass timber reduces the building superstructure’s embodied carbon by 40%. The transit facilities include twenty-two bus loading bays, ticketing, office spaces, and a bike hub for commuters.

The EPIC Challenge grant funds will allow the project team to research all-electric innovations including islanding and additional battery storage to improve resilience. The project also received an Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Grant from the Strategic Growth Council. This highly competitive funding is awarded to infill development that reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Mithun’s integrated design team is partnering with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), affordable housing developer First Community Housing, the City of Santa Cruz, PAE Engineers, Redwood Energy and general contractor LendLease.