In what’s being referred to as the first “community-wide, ground-up residential solar program in Texas,” Lennar is collaborating with SunStreet Energy Group on a community in Austin, Texas, which includes rooftop solar as a standard feature.
The Colorado Crossing development, located in southeast Austin, will eventually encompass more than 500 homes, each with a home solar array meant to provide at least half of the homes’ electrical demand, and Lennar stated that the solar systems will not add to the homes’ prices. The new homes in the first phase of the Colorado Crossing community, which range from 1200 square feet to 2600 square feet in size, will be priced from just below $200,000 to about $260,000, and according to Austin Business Journal, about 30% of the initial 120 homes have already been sold.
The solar arrays for these Colorado Crossing homes, which are all low-profile rooftop arrays, will be owned and maintained by SunStreet Energy Group, which will receive a flat monthly fee of about $50 from homeowners for the next 20 years. The excess electricity produced by the rooftop arrays will be credited to the homeowner’s utility bills, with the homeowner only responsible for paying the difference between the electricity generated by the system and the electricity used in the home. A Lennar spokesman said that the company will guarantee that “a buyer will never pay more for solar overall than they would if they bought the power from the utility.”
According to Lennar’s FAQ about the Austin solar homes, purchasers can also opt to buy their system from SunStreet after the initial five-year period is up, or in the event that the home gets sold, in which case the homeowner can purchase the solar array outright and add its cost to the home price for the new buyer.