McKnight Lane Redevelopment Project
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.
- Resilient Power Project Case Study – McKnight Lane Redevelopment Project (Clean Energy Group, June 2018)
- Webinar: Year One Updates from the McKnight Lane Redevelopment Project (Clean Energy Group, September 2017)
- Webinar: McKnight Lane: A Rural Low-Income Resilient Solar+Storage Housing Project (Clean Energy Group, December 2016)
- Blog Post: Vermont Affordable Housing Development Sets New Standard for Resilient, Zero-Energy Homes (Clean Energy Group, November 2016)
- Project Overview: McKnight Lane Redevelopment Project (Clean Energy Group, October 2016)
- McKnight Lane: A Vermont Net Zero Community – Educational Video (VivaVerDan Films, October 2016)
- Press Release: Solar+Storage Technologies to Benefit Renters at Zero Energy Affordable Housing Development in Rural Vermont (Clean Energy Group, October 2016)
In The News
- After the Hurricanes, Rebuilding for Energy Efficiency and Storm Survival, Lyndsey Gilpin, InsideClimate News, 10/2/2017
- Utility Helps Wean Vermonters From the Electric Grid, Diane Cardwell, New York Times, 7/29/2017
- 1st Solar with Storage at A Zero Energy Rental Development, George Harvey, Green Energy Times, 12/15/2016
- Net-zero affordable housing transforms a corner of Vt., Daniel Cusick, E&E News, 11/23/2016
- Zero-net, low-income homes offer glimpse of grid transformation, K Kaufmann, Smart Electric Power Alliance Blog, 11/3/2016
- From Home Microgrid to Virtual Power Plant in Rural Vermont, Elisa Wood, Microgrid News, 10/26/2016
- Net-Zero Affordable Housing Opens in Vermont, Christine Serlin, Affordable Housing Finance, 10/21/2016
- Low-Income, Net-Zero Energy Housing Projects in Vermont Benefit From Solar+Storage, Chris Meehan, Solar Reviews, 10/20/2016
- New Affordable and Efficient Housing Options in Addison County, Rene Thibault, ABC News – Local 22, 10/19/2016
Year Commissioned: 2016
Services Provided: Backup power, Demand management, Demand response, Renewables integration, Microgrid
Supported Infrastructure: Affordable housing
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
Resilient Power Project Case Study – McKnight Lane Redevelopment Project (Clean Energy Group, June 2018). This case study includes technical and financial details, as well as lessons learned over the course of the project. Read it here.