Connected Communities Project Featured in New York Times

August 22, 2023

Across the United States, hundreds of microgrids provide power independently of regional electric grids. These facilities, which often include solar panels backed by battery energy storage, can help keep the power on locally while easing stress on the larger grid when demand is high or outages strike.

A recent feature in The New York Times spotlighted microgrids in real estate development, including a California housing project within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Connected Communities program.

DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) leads Connected Communities, which supports grid-interactive, efficient building communities. The Connected Communities project featured in the Times story “What If Your Town Doubled as a Private Power Grid?” will include more than 200 homes in Menifee, California.

The Menifee homes will have rooftop solar panels and battery storage at both the individual home and community level, among other features designed to increase resilience and lower carbon emissions. Solar energy company SunPower is leading the project with partners KB Homes, University of California Irvine, Schneider Electric, and Southern California Edison. DOE provided a $6.5 million grant.

“Developing energy efficient homes and communities that help the local power grid is the next venture of energy independence,” Dan Bridleman, KB Homes’ senior vice president of sustainability, technology and strategic sourcing, told the Times.

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