Tesla launches initiative to build first solar neighborhood in Austin

Tesla Energy, Brookfield Asset Management Inc., and Dacra announced in a joint press release Friday a new initiative to bring a large-scale sustainable neighborhood to Austin.

The initiative, provisionally named SunHouse at Easton Park, will be the first Tesla Solar neighborhood and the nation’s most sustainable residential community.

"Neighborhood solar installations across all housing types will reshape how people live," said Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla. "Brookfield and Dacra’s commitment to stay at the vanguard of that evolution is what makes them the right collaborator for Tesla Energy. The feedback we get from the solar and battery products used in this community will impact how we develop and launch new products." 

Tesla says their "state of the art" sustainable features will be installed in phases to "allow for ongoing learning and innovation."

According to the release, Tesla V3 solar roof tiles and Powerwall 2 battery storage will be installed in phases at homes in the SunHouse community, which will be developed on land in Brookfield Residential’s Easton Park community but will be designed and marketed separately.

The release says the first phase of the installation actually began in June, with a sampling of homes under construction. Tesla says insight from these initial installations will shape the next phase of the process, which will include significantly more homes. 

The final process will be a master-planned community of homes, with the goal of "establishing a model for the design and construction of sustainable large-scale housing projects around the world," according to the release. 

"This initiative brings together multiple parts of our organization with innovative and forward-thinking partners that share a commitment to advance the development of sustainable communities," said Brian Kingston, CEO of Brookfield’s Real Estate business. "As consumers increasingly seek out energy security alongside sustainable places to live, combining Tesla’s solar technology together with Brookfield’s real estate and renewables development capabilities will help us meet the demand for environmentally responsible communities of the future."

According to the press release, Tesla Solar will provide ongoing oversight of the homes’ energy systems, and Brookfield’s renewable power business will integrate a community-wide solar program to serve broader public use needs and surrounding neighborhoods. Brookfield Residential says it will also incorporate a suite of technology features, including electric vehicle charging stations in each home and throughout the community.

"Our goal is to establish that fully sustainable neighborhoods are not only viable but the best practical and economical choice," said Craig Robins, CEO of Dacra. "Together with Brookfield and Tesla, we are trying to change the world by creating technology-driven, energy-independent communities that make the world a better place."

Brookfield says residents will be provided with backup storage in the event of a power outage, and potentially could be compensated for returning power to the energy grid.

The City of Austin and Travis County have both announced commitments to sustainable development. In addition, Brookfield, Dacra, and Tesla say they will work together over the next 12 months to incorporate additional transportation, technology, and energy solutions to create this new paradigm for residential community development.

"The City of Austin is excited for the arrival of these affordable options to housing powered by renewable energy," said Austin Mayor Steve Adler. "I am excited for the Tesla, Brookfield, and Dacra partnership’s approach to sustainable energy and housing as an example of the out-of-box thinking that continues to make our community a beacon of innovation for the rest of the country and world."

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