First-Ever Solar Community Breaks Ground in Grand Valley
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Foundation for the first house in the River Trail subdivision is well underway.
"It is the first of its kind, I believe, on the Western Slope of Colorado that's going to have this magnitude of homes," said Michael Queally with Apex Realty.
All of the houses in the development off 31 1/2 and D roads will be equipped with energy efficient appliances, as well as solar panels.
"Buildings in the United States consume about 40 percent of energy," explained Lou Villaire, co-owner of Alasta Solar.
"We can achieve Energy Star standards using an insulated slab, advanced construction techniques and advanced framing," said Darin Carei, president of Senergy Builders.
Each home in the solar community is built with efficiency in mind, as well as the homeowner's pocket book.
"It will reduce consumers' energy costs by two-thirds of a normal code-built house of this size, shape and dimensions," added Carei.
"We are designing the solar electric system to provide 100-plus percent of the electricity that the average homeowner needs," said Villaire.
Officials say these kinds of communities are the way of the future.
"We're starting to think about solar differently. In other words, instead of actually adding it to a home, it is part of the home you purchase," explained Villaire.
Besides inspiring views, the neighborhood's location is prime for taking advantage of the "green" lifestyle.
"It is adjacent to the Colorado River. The River Front Trail is right out your front door," said Queally.
A bus line even runs right across the street along D Road.
"It's kind of the whole package wrapped up together into one," added Queally.
Each yard will also be xeriscaped for minimal upkeep.
Officials hope to build around 200 homes in the
next three years. The first model home should be ready in 60 to 75 days.