sonnen and Pearl Homes Partner to Develop the First Affordable, Carbon-Free Home Community

Written By: Jen Neville
November 8, 2018

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sonnen, the global market leader in smart residential energy storage, partnered with Pearl Homes, the U.S. leader in LEED residential development, to bring the vision of solar + storage, home automation and homebuilding to life, resulting in a 'Net-Zero-Plus and Climate-Positive' community. This network of homes is the first community implemented by the sonnen-Pearl Homes partnership, one designed to help decarbonize Manatee County and surrounding regions of Florida by making green living affordable to a broader market.

The second sonnenCommunity to launch in the U.S. market 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 new and affordable sonnen energy storage system designed for mass market appeal, a smart thermostat and an EV charger – all controlled by way of sonnen's powerful new energy automation and artificial intelligence software platform.

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sonnenCommunity represents the first time an energy storage system has worked in concert with Google Home in a master-planned development, capable of 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% of their own clean power, with the goal of being fully net-zero. In total, the sonnenCommunity projects represent 9MWh of storage capacity and 7.2MW of power.

Following the installment of the first 148 homes, Pearl Homes will commence a second development comprised of 720 apartments, making additional living options possible for those who don't currently own a home, but wish to make a difference for the environment. 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 a greener residence.

"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," stated Blake Richetta, Senior Vice President 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," added Marshall Gobuty, President of Sarasota, FL-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 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. With a focus on environmental and sustainable building and a goal to attain climate-positive buildings and homes that reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

"'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," noted Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, 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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