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In addition to being resilient, reliable, and clean, the solar energy storage systems will provide tenants 100 percent of their electricity needs.

McKnight Lane Redevelopment Project

Waltham, Vermont

The McKnight Lane affordable housing project repurposes a defunct mobile home park with the first examples of resilient, zero-energy, modular housing in a rural community. Solar+storage systems at each home provide tenants with backup power and zero energy costs. The all-electric, net-zero homes demonstrate how energy efficiency, solar PV, and battery storage systems together can bring economic and energy security benefits to tenants while enabling the local utility, Green Mountain Power, to manage peak energy demand and reduce cost for all customers.

The housing project was developed by Addison County Community Trust (ACCT) and Cathedral Square; the modular homes were designed by Pill-Maharam Architects and constructed by VERMOD Homes. Each home will include a 6kWh smart battery system, provided by the energy storage company sonnen. These systems will automatically disconnect from the grid during a utility outage and enable power from the solar panels and batteries to continue providing resilient, reliable, and clean electricity to the home. Additionally, it is anticipated that the solar energy systems will provide 100 percent of the tenants’ electricity needs. In other words, the smart solar+storage systems should produce more electricity than is needed by the McKnight Lane residents, resulting in a net energy cost of zero.

Construction of these homes began in May 2016, and they will be fully occupied by the end of November 2016. The homes are available for rent to qualified low- and middle-income households through ACCT. Clean Energy Group and the Clean Energy States Alliance helped facilitate the incorporation of energy storage into the project and will provide technical assistance to analyze and improve upon the clean energy systems in these units. The goal is to perform economic analysis of the systems and apply the lessons learned to similar, future projects benefiting renters in rural low-income communities.

Additional Resources

Installation Details

Year Commissioned: 2016

Services Provided: Backup power, Demand management, Demand response, Renewables integration, Microgrid

Supported Infrastructure: Affordable housing

Solar: 6kW

Storage: Lithium-ion, 4kW/6kWh

Project Partners: Addison County Community Trust, Cathedral Square, Clean Energy Group, Clean Energy States Alliance, Green Mountain Power, High Meadows Fund, Sandia National Laboratories, sonnen, US DOE Office of Electricity, VERMOD, Vermont Community Development Program, Vermont Community Foundation Sustainable Future Fund, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board

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