A Fully Sustainable Residential Community with a Solar Microgrid?

By Jim Romeo | Feb 7, 2023
A worker installs a solar panel on a home's roof. Photo by Raze Solar on Unsplash

While solar technology is widely used in many communities, there’s a development in Ann Arbor, Mich., where the entire community has embraced solar. 

As climate change continues to take its full toll on the world, many are searching for ways to attenuate the harms. One solution is to implement more sustainable power solutions wherever possible, including solar.

While solar technology is widely used in many communities, there’s a development in Ann Arbor, Mich., where the entire community has embraced solar. A developer is working on a fully sustainable community with a great deal of solar power from an independent microgrid. It is the first fully solar-powered, carbon-neutral and fossil fuel-free community in the United States. The concept is to develop neighborhoods that, by design, are developed with climate change mitigation at the center.

Veridian at County Farm is a project of Avalon Housing and THRIVE Collaborative—a real estate development, design, building and consulting firm. Veridian at County Farm is one of the nation’s first mixed-income sustainable communities.

Construction began in early 2022. Residents can move in by late 2023. Home prices are expected to be roughly $800,000 for a one-family home. Comparably, new homes in nearby Ann Arbor cost about $1 million.

The neighborhood will have its own microgrid of solar energy, and each home will have all-electric appliances powered by solar panels. The homes will be built with sustainably harvested wood.

In Michigan, it can cost anywhere from $12,000–$20,000 to install solar panels on a home. However, there’s a definite payback. Over the span of a home’s 30-year mortgage, homeowners could realize a $100,000 savings in energy costs.

Sustainable construction has been a common practice for some time now. However, residential home construction, given the project in Michigan, is likely to be more common in residential communities where homeowners reap savings from resources like solar power.

About The Author

ROMEO is a freelance writer based in Chesapeake, Va. He focuses on business and technology topics. Find him at

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