The Elon Musk Watch: An Austin 'Solar Neighborhood' By Design

Brookfield, Tesla, Dacra team up to launch a scale-able sustainable and attainable home and community development and construction model. Now comes the hard part. Doing it as promised.

John McManus July 13th, 2021

The Technoking Elon Musk tweet says it all:

Solar + Powerwall battery ensures that your home never loses power

Now comes the hard part. Reliably delivering the homes that draw on solar and battery power in the first place.

In other words, backing up the sizzle with the actual steak. More than a few builders may look askance at another Musk-sized promise of the world and more. The partnership deal is all good, and two heavyweight partners with Tesla give the project a whole lot of credibility at the outset.

Here, per a Brookfield Residential press statement Friday:

Tesla Energy, Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (“Brookfield” or “BAM”) (NYSE: BAM; TSX: BAM.A) and Dacra today announced a new initiative, provisionally named SunHouse at Easton Park, the first Tesla Solar neighborhood and the nation’s most sustainable residential community. Combining the real estate expertise of Brookfield and Dacra with Tesla Energy’s innovative products and knowledge, the state-of-the-art sustainable features will be installed in phases to allow for ongoing learning and innovation.
“Neighborhood solar installations across all housing types will reshape how people live,” said Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla. “Brookfield and Dacra’s commitment to stay at the vanguard of that evolution is what makes them the right collaborator for Tesla Energy. The feedback we get from the solar and battery products used in this community will impact how we develop and launch new products.”
“This initiative brings together multiple parts of our organization with innovative and forward-thinking partners that share a commitment to advance the development of sustainable communities,” said Brian Kingston, CEO of Brookfield’s Real Estate business. “As consumers increasingly seek out energy security alongside sustainable places to live, combining Tesla’s solar technology together with Brookfield’s real estate and renewables development capabilities will help us meet demand for environmentally responsible communities of the future.”
“Our goal is to establish that fully-sustainable neighborhoods are not only viable, but the best practical and economical choice,” said Craig Robins, CEO of Dacra. “Together with Brookfield and Tesla, we are trying to change the world by creating technology-driven, energy independent communities that make the world a better place.”
Tesla V3 solar roof tiles and Powerwall 2 battery storage will be installed in phases at homes in the SunHouse community, which will be developed on land in Brookfield Residential’s Easton Park master-planned residential community but will be designed and marketed separately.

Now, all the world knows – and many homebuilding partners wear the bruises and feel the sting – of prior promises from the man who would be king of all things energy and transportation, if he could get his way, capital investment support, and regulatory clearance in his path to saving the universe from people not like him.

Meanwhile, Musk is on the defensive in a trial over how Tesla acquired SolarCity in 2016 for $2.6 billion. Clearly, he doesn't seem to be daunted in the halls of corporate justice.

Kicking off a two-week trial in Wilmington, Delaware, Musk, wearing a dark suit, white shirt and a slightly askew dark tie, testified that he has tried "very hard not to be the CEO of Tesla, but I have to or frankly Tesla is going to die.”

This time, though, one hopes the promise to, literally, deliver the future of housing on a platter – more attainable, more sustainable, more scale-able – is more than that, a promise.

The press statement indicates that the first phase of installation began last month, with a sampling of homes under construction.

The initial installations will provide insight and information on product integration, which will guide the installation at the next phase of significantly more homes. The master planned community of homes will be the final phase of the process, with the goal of establishing an energy-neutral, sustainable community and a model for the design and construction of sustainable large-scale housing projects around the world.

The challenge will be timely, dependable, and on-budget rollouts. Time will tell.

For homes never to lose power they have to be homes and they have to have power in the first place. Tweet that.

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Image source: Tesla


John McManus

John McManus

President and Founder

John McManus, founder and president of The Builder’s Daily, is an award-winning editorial, programming, and digital content strategist. TBD's purpose is a community capable of constant improvement.


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