The largest zero net energy (ZNE) community of single family homes in California will serve as a multi-year living laboratory when Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) researchers begin to monitor and analyze the benefits and impacts of smart and grid-connected homes.
A collaborative team including De Young Properties, EPRI, BIRAenergy, and Pacific Gas and Electric, has unveiled plans for the new community in Clovis, called De Young EnVision. The development, located within the Loma Vista planned community, will include 36 grid-connected ZNE homes designed to produce as much clean energy as they consume in a year.
The homes have been designed to be optimized for energy efficiency and will include features such as electric heat pumps for space heating and cooling, advanced wall framing and insulation, solar generation, and electric vehicle ports. Over the next several years, EPRI researchers will monitor the homes’ energy use, solar production, and other performance attributes to learn how they can improve upon and expand zero net energy communities and the benefits for homeowners and the environment.
“Our research will quantify the benefits and impacts of near-all-electric, smart, and energy efficient homes and communities, such as reduced CO2 emissions, increased customer choice, and energy savings,” said Ram Narayanamurthy, EPRI principal program manager. “We want to understand the economic and technical feasibility of developing more communities of this type.”
The findings also will inform utilities and other development stakeholders about how to more seamlessly integrate these types of homes into the electric grid.
The first homes in this community are scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2018.
De Young EnVision is one of three EPRI ZNE R&D projects underway in California.