The Future of Home Building Arrives (In Alabama)

Source: / May 20, 2019

Alabama does not normally come to mind when discussing progressive energy programs, and yet Alabama Power, the state’s largest utility, is now working with three builders in the state to build “future proof” housing on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood scale. The Smart Neighborhood Builder program was spawned by the Smart Neighborhood project at Reynolds Landing, a Signature Homes community in Hoover, Ala., which is about 12 miles southwest of downtown Birmingham.

A Living Laboratory
In addition to Signature Homes, Alabama Power partnered up with Southern Co., its parent firm, the Electric Power Research Institute, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop and build the first 62-home Smart Neighborhood community that is interconnected with smart home technology and powered through a 1-megawatt microgrid. The microgrid, which remains connected to the main grid, is composed of a 400-kilowatt solar array that is backed up by a 400-kilowatt natural gas-powered generator and a 600-kilowatt-hour battery storage system.

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