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Construction finally set to begin on long-planned Florida solar + storage luxury home community

Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 03rd June

A new solar + storage luxury home community in Cortez, Florida, has begun construction. The 86-home Hunters Point community is being built by Pearl Homes and will feature sonnen ecoLinx energy storage system. Nearly 70% of the homes have already been sold.

Pearl Homes’ Hunters Point Net-Zero Energy home using the sonnen intelligent energy management system.

Each home will come with around a 6-kW solar system, along with sonnen’s lithium-iron phosphate battery technology. The ecoLinx has a 15,000-cycle/15-year warranty.

Designed to be power company ready, Hunters Point includes the sonnen Virtual Power Plant (VPP) platform that will allow Florida Power and Light (FPL) to manage the reserve power generated by the community as needed. In addition to integrating with utility control software to provide grid services, such as demand response and load management excess, stored solar energy can also be used to power the lighting in the common areas of the community.

“Our adoption of the sonnen ecoLinx makes the Hunters Point homes more energy-efficient,” said Pearl Homes founder Marshall Gobuty. “With it, our buyers will be able to automate their home energy management in the most modern way that compliments the unique style and design of the Pearl Home.”

The sonnen ecoLinx can be optimized and managed by a mobile app for backup, peak period, and solar usage and to monitor energy on demand. “Between the sonnen mobile application and the Google Nest in-home automation for temperature controls, Hunters Point buyers will be able to enjoy a healthier, cleaner, and unparalleled quality of life well lived in the world’s first LEED NetZero community,” added Gobuty.

Pearl Homes strives for NetZero Plus by achieving the highest USGBC’s LEED ranking in its housing developments in Florida and California. This is accomplished by including energy-efficient design, utilizing only sustainably focused suppliers, and building fully solar-powered residences.

“Hunters Point is the first non-utility based residential VPP ever established in Florida through the aggregation of individual solar systems being paired with sonnen ecoLinx energy storage systems,” said Jim Spano, Executive Chairman of My-Resi, the leaders in energy resilience and virtual power plant development. “The inclusion of grid-tied  sonnen ecoLinx systems delivers Hunters Point residents with resilient backup power and greater energy management, while also  providing a  dispatch-able energy services platform to support grid stability when needed.”

In addition to the sonnen ecoLinx, each Pearl Home project is designed and built to be self-sustaining and eco-friendly. The homes minimize waste and reduce environmental impact by incorporating WaterSense plumbing and fixtures, while the specified GE’s EnergyStar appliances require a minimal amount of power. Homeowners use Google Nest thermostats that manage and monitor their temperature to control their homes’ air conditioning and heating for maximum comfort.

“Marshall and his team at Pearl Homes are at the forefront of NetZero, LEED-based home building,” said Blake Richetta, Chairman and CEO, sonnen. “From our first discussions about Hunters Point to today, sonnen has been amazed at the forward-thinking ideas behind the Pearl Homes and their dedication to providing the most high-quality, energy-efficient, and environmentally advanced homes on the market today. Our ecoLinx intelligent energy storage system is the ideal solution for a project like Hunters Point. It offers unique, industry-leading software capabilities to empower homeowners to take control of their own energy consumption and manage backup power while also providing critical energy services to the larger community and local utility grid. ”

When sales began last summer, Hunters Point was originally planned to consist of 99 solar + storage home units. And when the community was first announced pre-pandemic, the entire Hunters Point projects was expected to have 9 MWh of storage capacity and 7.2 MW of solar power generation.