Builder uses Tesla system to help power area new home
Pulte Homes uses a Tesla Powerwall stored energy system for a new home in Babcock Ranch.
Business Observer Staff
| 8:00 p.m. June 26, 2020
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BABCOCK RANCH — Pulte Homes, using energy partially from a Tesla battery system, recently completed a first-of-its-kind solar home in the Southwest Florida market.
The home, according to a statement, is in the Lake Babcock neighborhood of Babcock Ranch, billed as America’s first solar-powered town. The new home includes 21 Panasonic HIT 330-watt solar panels with embedded Enphase Microinverters, the statement adds. It also includes a Tesla Powerwall stored energy system that the homeowner can control and monitor with an app. The home is available for purchase; homes in that neighborhood start in the mid-$200s, according to Pulte Home's website.
“Our Lake Babcock Summerwood solar home combines cutting edge solar technology with a sustainable, solar-powered town,” PulteGroup Southwest Florida Division President Richard McCormick says in the statement. “Offering energy-conscious options to our homebuyers complements our consumer-inspired, life tested home designs and our commitment to quality.”
The Tesla Powerwall system’s stored energy can be used to power critical power loads in a home, such as lights, the refrigerator and the home’s security system during a power outage, the release states. In addition to a 26% federal tax credit on the solar system and Tesla Powerwall, homes with solar will save homeowners close to $200 per month on their electric bill, the release states.
Rick Vaske, director of operations for Advance Solar & Energy in Fort Myers, says the homeowner-friendly system combines the power of solar energy with a Tesla stored energy solution. “The system’s app makes it truly user friendly. You can see your solar production, how much is stored, how much you’re consuming from the grid. The energy storage battery will power essential loads in your home within a half of a second if the grid goes down. It’s completely programmable,” says Vaske.
Featuring a flexible floor plan, the Summerwood home design also offers flexible living spaces, including up to five bedrooms and three baths that can be tailored for families of all sizes.
Babcock Ranch is northeast of Fort Myers on Babcock Ranch Road/State Road 31. The community began marketing new homes in 2017, with the first residents moving into the town in January 2018.