Solar PV a First-Home Selling Point

Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are moving beyond individual home installations into community developments that promote PV as a selling feature. SunWize Technologies, Gaia Productions and a California developer have completed the first eight homes for the energy efficient solar community Grand View Estates, in California.

Kingston, New York – August 24, 2004 [] Plans for the gated community include 90 solar homes, and each modular home integrates energy conservation and grid-tied solar system technology at a starting price of $230,000. “Grand View Estates can set an example for developers everywhere that solar should be installed on every new home. This location is ideal for solar with no obstructions and a good deal of sun most of the year,” said Dan Schoenfeld, the developer of the community. “These homes use only the highest quality building elements and their modular pre-fabricated design allows us to build environmental friendly communities at an affordable price.” PV systems used in the development are 2.5 kW grid-tied systems. They have Sharp 185 W modules and the new Fronius IG inverter. Each system comes with a 20-year power output warranty and five-year system warranty. The all-electric, Fuqua factory built homes have R-40 rated insulation in the ceiling, R-33 in the floors and R-21 in the walls. All homes have feature low-emissivity windows, and appliances such as the refrigerator, dishwasher and stove carry the Energy Star label. Typical utility bills for this area are $150 to $400 per month. Mr. Schoenfeld expects many of the buyers will be young families and retirees who will be attracted to the unique combination of solar and energy efficiency to help reduce their utility bills by as much as 75 percent.
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