All-solar community coming to Lakewood Ranch

Categories: Energy

Already known as one of the largest green communities in the United States, Lakewood Ranch will add luster to its reputation with the new Polo Run community 1 1/2 miles east of Lorraine Road on the north side of State Road 70.

Polo Run, planned for 500 single-family homes, is set to become Lakewood Ranch’s first all-solar community.

“Each home will have solar panels on one side of the roof or the other, depending on the orientation,” Kyle Bernethy, vice president of sales for Southwest Florida Lennar Homes, said Thursday.

Several dozen homes are under construction at Polo Run, which is now a swarming construction zone. Thursday, two of the homes were already sporting solar panels.

“The panels are collecting and using the energy in the daylight hours, and any unused power will be sold back to the grid,” Bernethy said.

At night, the homes will take their power from conventional sources.

Priced to the market with Lennar’s buying power – Lennar has other all-solar developments in California, Arizona and elsewhere – the solar panels will be bundled into the cost of the house.

Lennar buys the panels in volume, Bernethy said, giving the company a break on pricing.

“You’re not just doing a couple,” he said.

To reassure buyers, Lennar is promising to repair any panel that fails or is damaged at no cost to the owner, Bernethy said.

“Environmental stewardship, and beyond that, sustainability in a broader sense, has always been part of the fabric of Lakewood Ranch. We’re pleased to see Lennar take the initiative to offer this level of solar technology, and gratified that they chose to bring it to Polo Run in Lakewood Ranch,” said Rex Jensen, CEO and president of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch.

“We are seeing more and more home buyers — especially millennials who are now purchasing their first family homes — value and ultimately ‘expect’ energy-efficient and smart home features. Lennar has both the scale and experience to implement this program, as is demonstrated by their effective implementation of the in Florida and other U.S. markets,” Jensen said.

While Polo Run is Lennar’s first all-solar community in Lakewood Ranch, it has a smaller all-solar development in Fort Myers.

Polo Run should begin sales in about one month,Bernethy said.

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