Local organization brings solar panel homes to Carver neighborhood

Local News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A local non-profit organization is celebrating the completion of seven solar panel homes in Richmond’s Carver neighborhood.

Since 2000, Project Homes has built nearly 200 houses throughout Central Virginia, but the latest ones are among the most unique.

Called net-zero homes, the affordable living houses will produce electricity needed from solar panels installed on the roof, lowering the electric bill in the process.

“Kata come on in and see your new house!” said Marion Cake, of Project Homes, to new homeowner Kata Gauthier.

“Very exciting,” said the new homeowner, “because I didn’t think I would be able to own a home so early in my life.”

Richmond’s Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RHAA) purchase land in the Carver neighborhood, then allowed the Project Homes organization to give back to the community with the hope of eliminating blight and providing affordable housing.

“As the cost of housing has gone out and outpaced wage growth, we’ve been looking at ways to mitigate that for our homeowners.”

For Gauthier, she says she’s lucky she got one, because they were first-come-first-served.

“Now I don’t have to worry about a bidding war,” Gauthier said. “I don’t have to worry about coming up with extra money!”

Being a first-time homeowner, Gauthier says she wants to save as much money as possible with the benefits of the solar panels – that’ something officials with Project Homes see as a big benefit.

“They generate as much electricity as they consume,” Cake said. “Which lowers not only your cost to own it, but the environmental impact as well.”

“That was something I learned when I got here,” Gauthier said. “That was something that really pushed me over the edge and I was like…. I’m going to just do this!”

Two more homes are being built in the same neighborhood. they are expected to be listed in the coming months.

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