Austin’s first solar community is under construction. Yesterday, city officials and state representatives were on hand at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the development’s model homes.
The green ribbon served as a symbol of the benefits that solar has for the homes, the buyers, and the environment. As State Representative Eddie Rodriguez said, “It should never cost more to be green.”
Lennar Homes is building the Colorado Crossing development with their subsidiary SunStreet Energy Group installing solar panels on every rooftop. With this feature, Colorado Crossing becomes the first solar-standard community in the city.
David Grove, president of Lennar’s Austin division, said, “Integrating the SunStreet solar program allows us to provide a unique product at lower cost to our buyers. And because the system carries a limited 20-year warranty, buyers do not have to worry about maintenance or repairs. It’s a big win all around.”
Homeowners will lease the system from Sunstreet and pay a low, flat monthly fee. It will cost them nothing up front, and is expected to cover over half of their energy use. The system allows power production to be monitored on a panel-by-panel basis.
“This community marks a significant milestone for Austin with homes that meet two vital needs – affordability and sustainability,” said David Kaiserman, CEO of SunStreet Energy Group. “These homes are an example of the great things that can happen when good policy encourages creative businesses to use advanced technology in ways that have real and lasting benefits both for individual buyers and society as a whole.”
Prices for the homes range from under $200,000 to around $260,000 according to the Austin Business Journal.
Austin Energy has recently committed to increasing renewable energy to 55 percent of their total mix by 2025, with a minimum of 100 MW of customer-sited local solar. This project moves the city-owned utility closer to achieving that goal.
“It’s clear that to achieve the ambitious goals Austin Energy has set for itself, we must significantly increase the number of rooftops generating power from the sun,” said Austin Energy Vice President of Customer Energy Solutions Deborah Kimberly. “Communities like this with solar integrated into the design from day one allow us to make faster progress toward those goals in ways that allow us to plan infrastructure and protect the overall stability of the electric grid.”
With this development Lennar Homes and Austin, Texas join the growing number of communities across the country that incorporate solar into their neighborhoods and their lives.
Photo Credit: Steve Siegwalt/pixabay.com