It might look like something out of a 1960’s future world, but Drake Landing Solar Community, just outside of Calgary, Alberta, Canada is North America’s first solar-powered community, 52 houses getting most of their space-heating energy needs from an interconnected network of solar panels.
A total of 800 panels, installed on garage roofs throughout the neighborhood, generate 1.5 megawatts of thermal energy during the summer. And extra power is stored underground for the shorter, colder days of winter.
The homes sold quickly, especially after June testing revealed the system captured and stored exactly the amount of energy that had been calculated, with the last house going this October.
In 5 years, together the neighborhood will have saved up enough solar energy to provide 90% of the community’s heating needs during the winter.
Also, all the houses are gold-certified for being green. The average Canadian household emits 6 to 7 tons of greenhouse gas annually, but Drake Landing’s homes only produce 1 to 2 tons per year.