Tesla Energy, Brookfield, & Dacra Are Developing A Large-Scale Sustainable Neighborhood In Austin, Texas

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Tesla Energy, Brookfield Asset Management, and Dacra are teaming up to create SunHouse at Easton Park, Brookfield announced. This is the first Tesla Solar neighborhood and will be the nation’s most sustainable residential community, according to the companies. Brookfield and Dacra are combining their real estate experience with Tesla Energy’s products and wisdom to create a unique neighborhood that I think could be the first of many more to come.

Brookfield noted that Tesla’s V3 solar roof tiles and Powerwall 2 battery storage system will be installed in phases at homes in the SunHouse community that will be developed on land in Brookfield Residential’s Easton Park. The first phase of installation started last month with a sampling of homes under construction.

These installations will provide insight and information on product integration and will guide the installation at the next phase. The master-planned community of homes will be the final phase of the process. The goal is to establish an energy-neutral, sustainable community and a model for the design and construction of sustainable large-scale housing projects around the world.

Tesla Solar will provide ongoing oversight of the homes’ energy systems. Brookfield’s renewable power business will integrate a community-wide solar program that will serve broader public use needs and those of surrounding neighborhoods. Brookfield Residential noted that it will also incorporate a suite of technology features that include EV charging stations in each home and throughout the community.

Residents of these new homes will most likely produce enough energy to supply their daily needs while reducing daily demand on the electric grid. They will be provided with backup storage in the event of a power outage and may possibly be compensated for returning power to the energy grid.

Statements From The CEOs

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, said:

“Neighborhood solar installations across all housing types will reshape how people live. 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.”

Brian Kingston, the CEO of Brookfield’s real estate business, shared how this would help Brookfield meet the demand for environmentally responsible communities of the future.

“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.

“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 demand for environmentally responsible communities of the future.”

Craig Robins, CEO of Dacra, spoke of the overall goal that’s the best for everyone:

“Our goal is to establish that fully-sustainable neighborhoods are not only viable, but the best practical and economical choice.

“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.”

The City of Austin and Travis County have both committed to sustainable development. Brookfield stated that it will work with Dacra and Tesla “over the next year 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,” Mayor Steve Adler of Austin said. “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.”

This is exciting and I think it can be a blueprint for all housing types, whether for those who are buying homes or developers who rent out apartments. I really think that this could also benefit low-income housing as well. However, there will be several challenges in this regard. To me, owning a home is a luxury, and sadly, many others are in the same boat.

MarketWatch reported that many who buy houses are using their portfolios to do so — not their salaries. The article noted that the housing market is increasingly unequal and that it could be accompanying a K-shaped recovery from the Covid-induced downturn. Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, touched upon how the pandemic widened the gap between those who have and those who don’t. “When I started in this business, there was a broad consensus around making the American dream accessible to middle- and lower-income people. After this year I now see housing as a luxury good.”

I’ve also seen numerous posts on TikTok from both Millennials and Gen Z-ers saying that owning a home is no longer the American dream, but a luxury for very few. And the idea of owning a smart home or a clean energy home is even more of a luxury.

Tesla can change this — and most likely will in the coming decade. I think that once these initial homes in the SunHouse community are all bought and functioning, all three of the companies can plan the next one, and as with Tesla’s Master Plan that Elon shared ages ago, this can transform from luxury to a product that more people will eventually be able to afford.

It’s a great start and I’m excited to see how Tesla can revolutionize the housing industry as it has done with the automotive, energy, and others.


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