There's a new player in the Austin housing market: Elon Musk.
The first Tesla Solar neighborhood—dubbed the nation's most sustainable residential community—will be built in Easton Park, a master-planned community in far Southeast Austin near McKinney Falls State Park. The newly built homes will feature Tesla solar roof tiles and Powerwall battery storage as well as electric vehicle charging stations.
Tesla Energy, Brookfield Asset Management and real estate development company Dacra announced the initiative, which aims to create a new model for large-scale sustainable housing projects, on Friday.
"Neighborhood solar installations across all housing types will reshape how people live," Musk said in a press release. "The feedback we get from the solar and battery products used in this community will impact how we develop and launch new products."
Solar + Powerwall battery ensures that your home never loses power
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 9, 2021
The neighborhood could serve as "Austin++," which Musk teased on Twitter in April, calling attention to the "urgent need to build more housing in greater Austin," where the median home sales price has increased $135,107 year-over-year, according to the Austin Board of Realtors. Home sales prices in the forthcoming development were not immediately available.
The first phase of the SunHouse at Easton Park, a provisional name, will begin in June, with a sampling of homes under construction. With insight from the first phase, the second phase will encompass "significantly more homes," according to the release. The goal of the final phase is to establish an "energy-neutral" community, with homes producing enough energy to supply their residents' daily needs and reduce demand on the state's troubled electric grid.
SunHouse residents will also be provided with backup storage in the event of a power outage—a more pressing concern in the wake of the catastrophic winter storm in February—and may even be compensated for supplying excess power to the grid, according to the release.
"As consumers increasingly seek out energy security alongside sustainable places to live, combining Tesla's solar technology with Brookfield's real estate and renewables development capabilities will help us meet demand for environmentally responsible communities of the future," Brookfield Managing Partner Brian Kingston said in a statement.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler welcomed the project, which he called "an example of out-of-box thinking that continues to make our community a beacon of innovation for the rest of the country and world," in a statement.
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