Real estate developer O’Brien Brothers has begun construction on an all-electric and fully storm resilient neighborhood called Hillside East in Vermont.
The project is being carried out in partnership with energy transformation company Green Mountain Power. Hillside East will consist of 155 homes, including single-family, multi-family, and affordable housing units.
Each home in the neighborhood will be equipped with a resiliency package consisting of Tesla Powerwall batteries and rooftop solar panels for recharging. Additionally, the neighborhood will feature a community microgrid with utility scale batteries, ensuring continuous power supply.
According to Green Mountain Power, the combined battery capacity of the homes and the neighborhood will create a virtual power plant, reducing energy costs for its customers on peak energy days.
“Vermonters are facing two overlapping challenges: a dire housing shortage and the ongoing climate crisis,” said U.S. Senator Peter Welch. “This project helps tackle both problems head-on, creating more than 150 100-percent fossil fuel-free homes using Inflation Reduction Act tax credits. It’s the kind of ambitious project we need more of — in Vermont and across the United States.”
Each home will also feature ducted heat pump systems for cooling and heating, all-electric appliances, and a Span Drive level 2 EV charger in the garage. Span Smart Panels will provide homeowners with complete control over electric loads, facilitating energy management and enhancing resilience.
The neighborhood’s power lines will be placed underground for added protection against severe storms. The development will be carried out in multiple phases, with the first units expected to be ready for occupancy in fall 2023.
The resiliency package, comprising home batteries and solar panels, will cost Hillside East buyers an estimated $85 per month with no upfront expenses, offering significant savings compared to individual retrofitting costs. The batteries and EV chargers at Hillside East will contribute approximately 3 MW to Green Mountain Power’s growing network of 50 MW of stored energy across Vermont.
“The energy efficiency measures, solar power generation and battery storage capacity will all work together to significantly decrease homeowners’ carbon footprints, strengthen the overall power grid and help Vermont move towards its climate goals, all while providing housing to 155 families. This is a win-win-win for all of us,” O’Brien Brothers’ CEO Evan Langfeldt said.
An affordable housing project planned in Brooklyn will incorporate geothermal, carbon capture and other decarbonization technologies.