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sonnen, Pearl Homes Launch First Affordable, Carbon-Free Housing Community

A rendering of a home in the Hunters Point Community | Images credit: sonnen

sonnen, a global market leader in smart residential energy storage, has partnered with Pearl Homes — the U.S. leader in LEED residential development — and Google Home to bring their vision of a 'Net-Zero-Plus and Climate-Positive' community, complete with solar + storage and home automation, to life in Manatee County, Florida. The network of homes, dubbed Hunters Point — Pearl Homes Community and Marina, is the first community implemented through the sonnen-Pearl Homes partnership, one designed to help decarbonize Manatee County and surrounding regions of Florida by making sustainable living affordable to a broader market.

Hunter’s Point, the second sonnenCommunity to launch in the US market, is under development in the small fishing village of Cortez. It is comprised of 148 homes pursuing LEED Platinum certification that empower residents to be pioneers in energy and join a movement creating net-zero energy communities. Each home will be equipped with rooftop solar panels, a sonnen energy storage system designed for mass market appeal and affordability, a smart thermostat and an EV charger — all controlled through sonnen's new energy automation and artificial intelligence software platform.

A model home in Hunter's Point

The Hunter's Point sonnenCommunity represents the first time an energy storage system has worked in concert with Google Home in a master-planned development, maximizing the intelligent use of each household's renewable energy. In initial tests, it was determined that the already-built homes are generating approximately 96 percent of their own clean power, with the goal of being fully net-zero. In total, the Hunter's Point sonnenCommunity projects represent 9MWh of storage capacity and 7.2MW of power.

Following the installment of the first 148 homes, Pearl Homes will begin a second development comprised of 720 apartments, making additional living options possible for those who don't currently own a home but have ambitions for carbon-free living. It will be the first net-zero rental community of this size, with cost-affordable pricing designed to provide people of varying income levels with the opportunity to live in more sustainably.

A rendering of the multifamily units, which will be build in phase two

"We are thrilled to partner with Pearl Homes, the unparalleled leader in building LEED Platinum homes in the U.S., as we upend the traditional homebuilding vision and replace it with one based on decarbonizing the grid and establishing a complete solution for green living that is affordable for a much broader market," said Blake Richetta, SVP and head of sonnen's U.S. operations. "Together with our partners at Pearl Homes and Google Home, we are effectively demonstrating the intersection between renewable energy, home automation and homebuilding, establishing a blueprint for the affordable clean energy home of the future."

The first-of-its-kind community is designed to decongest the wires of the local utility grid, providing load-shaping throughout the day to support intelligent demand management; establish smart, configurable backup that provides resiliency and peace of mind for homeowners in the face of storms and other natural disasters; and the ability to live a cleaner lifestyle than any other development in the country.

"For years, energy experts have sought an answer to the solar conundrum: how to generate and store enough solar for our homes," said Marshall Gobuty, President of Sarasota-based Pearl Homes. "sonnen's technology, in combination with our LEED Platinum home design, has changed the equation for the ability to truly optimize smart homes using solar plus storage to the point where we are capable of building sustainable communities that share solar and decarbonize the region, one Pearl Home at a time."

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has recognized Pearl Homes as a visionary leader for the company's focus on building disruptive innovation and creating a future model for LEED-certified, net-zero energy homes.

"'Pearl Homes' vision of increasing access to sustainable homes is directly aligned with USGBC's vision to achieve green buildings for all within a generation," said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of USGBC. "Pearl Homes uses a streamlined process to achieve the highest levels of sustainability and occupant health. With the addition of sonnen's intelligent, clean energy management technology, the development of this community brings the potential for energy-positive living to the mainstream. Pearl Homes and sonnen understand the value of LEED and have exemplified extraordinary leadership in reshaping their sector. This community will serve as a model for others to follow for decades to come."

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