Zero-net energy home pilot set to open in Fontana

Global renewable giant SunEdison announced Wednesday that it would supply advanced battery technology for nine Southern California homes that will generate and store their own energy.

The first of the project's so-called zero-net energy homes, which are being built in Fontana, is expected to be completed by the end of September with the remaining eight finished by the first quarter of 2016.

A zero-net energy home is supposed to generate as much energy as it consumes.

SunEdison, which develops, finances and installs equipment for renewable energy sources such as solar, designed a system that will monitor and control how energy is used in the homes. SunEdison partnered with builder Meritage Homes and Southern California Edison to develop the project.

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The effort, led by the Electric Power Research Institute in Palo Alto, is considered an important part of future grid planning.

The California Public Utilities Commission’s Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan aims to have all new homes be zero-net energy, beginning in 2020. For commercial buildings, the target year is 2030.

“With this project, we’re pioneering solutions that will help Californians prepare for the future of the grid, where homes and businesses will be generating their own electricity on a much greater  scale than we’re seeing today,” said Tim Derrick, SunEdison’s general manager of advanced solutions.

C.R. Herro, vice president of energy efficiency and sustainability at Meritage Homes, said the homes would be a good deal for consumers.

“Zero-net energy homes will be energy efficient, more cost effective to run and have backup power in the event of a power cut,” Herro said.

For more energy news, follow Ivan Penn on Twitter: @ivanlpenn

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