California neighborhood finds new ways to turn on the lights
The Future. Two neighborhoods in Menifee, California, are being built with sustainability and clean energy in mind. And in a shocker move for southern California, the homes are actually nice and affordable. With the United States Department of Energy studying how the neighborhoods’ proposed microgrid could make the development’s electricity independent, expect the new suburbs to be a blueprint for how to roll out the technology nationwide.
What if you lived in a neighborhood that never had to worry about losing power? That’s the ambition behind Durango at Shadow Mountain and Oak Shade at Shadow Mountain.
- Bloomberg reports that the combined 219 single-family homes are outfitted with:
- Batteries that store energy from 16 solar panels on each roof
- EV chargers that can turn cars into mobile power plants
- An electric heat pump water heater to regulate home temperature
- And high-efficiency appliances that reduce typical energy consumption by 40%
- Each neighborhood will be connected to create a microgrid so that energy will stay pumping even during blackouts, inclement weather, or wildfires.
- Together, the neighborhoods will also share a 2.3 megawatt-hour “community battery” — a backup to the backup.
With each home priced between $482,000 to $578,000, the neighborhood is already attracting young families that can’t find anything affordable in nearby Los Angeles, Orange County, or San Diego.
Each neighborhood will have the ability to be “islanded” from the power grid — meaning that whatever happens to the rest of the state’s grid won’t affect the energy supply of these new developments.
But they’ll also be able to sell that excess electricity to utility company Southern California Edison, letting homeowners make a little extra coin while giving the grid some vital juice when needed.