Developers have started building a neighborhood in Shallotte where all of the 33 homes will have solar energy panels and reverse osmosis and water filtration systems.
Infrastructure construction on Heron's Nest, on 10 acres at 246 Heron Court, began Nov. 6, and five homes are already under contract, said Graham Adams, part of development group 19TenCottage LLC.
"The fun part of this comes in three conceptual aspects: clean energy, clean water and clean air," Adams said this week.
The homes range in size from 860 to 2,200 square feet in six different floor plans and range in price from $186,000 to $248,000, including the lots and base package that comes with the solar panels and the clean-water systems.
"The whole development will be supported by solar energy and so right off the bat, it's going to be either using clean energy or actually generating clean energy for the grid, depending on the use of the energy at the house and the weather," and various other factors, Adams said.
Graham Adams and his son Brian Adams are solar farm developers in addition to being two of the partners in Heron's Nest, "so we know how to make the application of solar energy at a house scale because we've done over 30 megawatts of utility-scale solar," Graham Adams said.
While solar-home initiatives are not unique to Shallotte, an entire community powered by the sun is unusual for the state, he said.
Graham Adams, who is from Charlotte and moved to Ocean Isle Beach about a year ago, said he believes the clean-water aspects of the development are also unique and timely. "Everybody's thinking about clean water these days...Only a few custom houses are getting this level of water quality, and water quality in all of North Carolina is a key issue. In our region, everybody talks about GenX, but even in Charlotte, water quality's an issue for everybody these days."
He said Heron's Nest also has a nature theme.
"It's sustainable and environmentally friendly. We are building lagoons, animal habitats, natural areas for the preservation of natural wildlife," Graham Adams said.
Heron's Nest, where irrigation systems will be minimized, will include a significant amount of indigenous plants, he said.
Crews are expected to begin building the homes by the first of February, with phase 2 of the development estimated to begin sometime around the middle of next year. A large version of the site plan (pictured above)
and more information about the project is available on the Heron's Nest website