sonnen celebrates a milestone at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the McKnight Lane Affordable Housing Development in Waltham, Vermont, the first net-zero, low-income rental housing development in the country. The project is led by the Addison County Community Trust and Cathedral Square, and it represents the efforts of a unique coalition of stakeholders from community development and agencies, industry, Vermont government, philanthropy, and the nonprofit sector to transform a blighted mobile home community into an energy resilient community using solar + the sonnenBatterie smart energy storage technology.
This innovative project showcases fourteen customized net-zero modular homes, constructed by VERMOD, a Vermont company, and demonstrates how the combination of energy efficiency, solar PV, and energy storage brings greater energy independence and economic benefits to customers. The sonnenBatterie home battery system installed in each of these homes is paired with small-scale solar rooftop panels and stores excess locally generated solar energy. Therefore, by using sonnen's cutting edge battery technology, customers achieve greater energy resilience and the local utility, Green Mountain Power, reduces peak demand on the grid, providing cost savings to all customers. During grid outages caused by storms or emergencies, the battery is able to keep the solar system running to power essential parts of the home like lights, a refrigerator, and furnace during the day in addition to storing excess solar for use at night. Green Mountain Power will partner with customers to utilize the batteries during peak energy times to directly lower costs for customers by reducing transmission and capacity costs.
"At sonnen, our goal is clean, affordable, and reliable energy for all. Projects like the McKnight Lane development enable us to bring new technologies like solar + storage to lower income communities, providing cost savings and peace of mind for these homeowners, bolstering the local utility grid and contributing to greater clean energy equity," said Christoph Ostermann, global CEO of sonnen.
"Solar paired with battery storage is a relatively new technology, so highlighting the many benefits of such projects is very important," said Clean Energy Group Project Director Todd Olinsky-Paul. "The McKnight Lane Housing Development is unique because it enables low-income rural communities to access these technologies today, not years from now."
The addition of the solar battery storage systems to the McKnight Lane homes came about thanks to a collaboration between sonnen, Green Mountain Power, the Addison County Community Trust, Cathedral Square, Clean Energy Group, Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), and Efficiency Vermont. sonnen in partnership with the High Meadows Fund and The Vermont Community Foundation Sustainable Future Fund funded the inclusion of the sonnenBatterie smart solar energy storage systems. CESA will work with sonnen and Green Mountain Power to collect and analyze data from the battery systems and develop system optimization analysis; and Clean Energy Group, with foundation support for its Resilient Power Project, will share lessons learned to improve this and future, similar projects.