Tesla Motors is best known for its ultra-modern — and often ultra-expensive — electric vehicles, but if you’ve been paying close attention you’ll know the Elon Musk-led company isn’t just interested in transportation. It’s also looking to power homes with its Powerwall batteries.
Announced in 2015, Powerwalls haven’t yet been widely adopted, partially due to availability and partially due to their cost. However, Australian developer Glenvill recently swept both of those concerns off the table with plans for what’s been dubbed the world’s first “Tesla town.” Called YarraBend, the new 16.46-hectare Melbourne suburb will contain homes packed with green features, including Powerwalls.
“A key feature of the [initial] release is a standard inclusion of Tesla Powerwall utilising solar power to reduce energy use and electrical bills,” Glenvill’s sales and market manager, Nick Marinakis, told a local newspaper. The release includes 60 three- to five-bedroom homes priced between $1.48 million and $2.1 million. Once complete, YarraBend will include 2,500 condos, townhomes and single-family homes.
As Marinakis’ comment suggests, Powerwall batteries are designed to store energy generated by solar panels, which homes at YarraBend will also come with. With an energy storage capacity of 6.4 kWh, the rechargeable units are able to collect enough energy during the day to power most homes during the evening. Tesla will soon be ramping up production of the batteries at its massive gigafactory in Nevada, which just officially opened.
YarraBend residences will include a slew of other environmentally friendly features that together have prompted the Urban Development Institute of Australia to award the suburb the country’s highest Ecologically Sustainable Development rating. Danni Addison, the organization’s chief executive, has highlighted that YarraBend homeowners will use 43 percent less water and send 80 percent less material to landfills. Early Powerwall adopters have also reported significant savings on electricity.
The suburb will also be home to more traditional green amenities — located right next to the Yarra River, it will be surrounded by parkland and will house plenty of bike paths, playgrounds and gardens. Health and wellness facilities, food retailers and even a primary school are some of the other facilities that will help make the suburb self sustaining.
So far only the 60 homes mentioned above are on sale at YarraBend, and Glenvill hasn’t announced when more will be available. However, those who manage to snag a home from the initial release won’t have to wait long to move in — according to Marinakis, official contract signing is expected to start in August, with buyers moving in late next year. You can click here to register to receive updates or book a preview.