It was no surprise when Clarum Homes (Palo Alto, Calif.) announced plans in 2003 to build the largest Zero-Energy Home community in Watsonville, Calif. This innovative homebuilder has been installing solar electric systems in its homes as standard equipment since 1999. Every home in Vista Montaña is an Enviro-Home, designed to reduce homeowner energy bills by up to 90 percent, and featuring photovoltaic systems from Sharp.
Sharp, manufacturer of both solar modules and inverters, "is extremely pleased to partner with Clarum Homes to help build environmentally friendly, energy-efficient homes with today's most advanced solar power technology at their core," said Ron Kenedi, vice president of Sharp Electronics Solar Energy Solutions Group.
Clarum Homes were outfitted with 167-, 140, or 70-watt solar panels and Sunvista inverters, making up solar electric systems that range in size from 1.2 kilowatts to 3.2 kilowatts.
Through the Zero-Energy Homes (ZEH) initiative, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) works with builders to design new homes that produce as much energy as they use.
"This is the largest housing development in the nation with homes designed to use almost no electricity," said Mark Ginsberg, who sits on the board of directors of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy project of the DOE. "In the future, people will look back and say, ‘subdivisions like this started in Watsonville.'"
The latest residential roofing product introduced from Sharp is the ND-62RU1 62-watt solar roof module, which is designed for new construction or refurbished roofs. Sharp's new solar modules lay flat on the rooftop, interlocking with standard roof tiles for a clean, smooth look.
This information was provided by Sharp Electronics Corp., Solar Energy Solutions Group, Huntington Beach, Calif. For more information, visit www.sharpusa.com/solar.