Miami’s Design District developer is getting into solar power

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Craig Robins, president and CEO of Dacra, the firm that developed the Miami Design District, is joining forces with Elon Musk for a solar-powered community in Austin, Texas.

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The developer of Miami’s upscale Design District is teaming up with Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, to develop the nation’s most sustainable community in Austin, Texas.

Craig Robins, CEO and president of the Miami-based development firm Dacra, and Musk will collaborate with Brookfield Asset Management to install solar-powered roof tiles and battery storage units in homes inside Brookfield’s Easton Park master-planned community, which is under development.

The homes would be marketed separately from other units in the Austin community and branded by the name SunHouse community.

“Our goal is to establish that fully-sustainable neighborhoods are not only viable, but the best practical and economical choice,” Robins said in a press release. “Together with Brookfield and Tesla, we are trying to change the world by creating technology-driven, energy independent communities that make the world a better place.”

The first phase of installation began in June, using a sampling of the homes under construction in the Easton Park neighborhood.

Tesla Solar will oversee the homes’ energy systems, and Brookfield will integrate a communitywide solar program to serve broader public use needs and surrounding neighborhoods.

Brookfield Residential will also incorporate a suite of technology features, including electric vehicle charging stations in each home and throughout the community.

“Neighborhood solar installations across all housing types will reshape how people live,” Musk said in a press release. “Brookfield and Dacra’s commitment to stay at the vanguard of that evolution is what makes them the right collaborator for Tesla Energy. The feedback we get from the solar and battery products used in this community will impact how we develop and launch new products.”

Does Robins have any plans to bring solar-powered homes to Miami?

“Right now we are focused on Austin,” Robins told the Herald. “This is just the beginning.”

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Rene Rodriguez has worked at the Miami Herald in a variety of roles since 1989. He currently writes for the business desk covering real estate and the city’s affordability crisis.

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