First Resident Moves into Proposed Community Microgrid

A Brunswick Electric member has moved into the Heron’s Nest development in Shallotte, the first resident to call the advanced neighborhood home.The proposed residential microgrid project is a collaboration between BEMC, North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives and developer The Adams Group, and the community is planned to include 33 homes.

“After I moved back from Asheville, where I attended college at UNCA, it was a struggle to find something in this area that was affordable to purchase,” said Heron’s Nest resident Kourtney Gore. “Not only was Heron’s Nest affordable, and [developers] Graham and Suzan great to work with, but building new construction allowed me to turn all of my dreams (and Pinterest ideas!) into reality.”

Once fully operational, the microgrid will include a small community solar array with battery storage, distributed rooftop solar on the homes, and demand response water heaters and programmable demand response thermostats in each home. Other sustainable building elements have and will be incorporated into the community, including reduced square footage per home (typically 2,000 square feet or less), natural water runoff and wetland areas, and water permeable driveways.

“Being environmentally conscious and turning that awareness into action was a huge drive to build in this neighborhood,” Gore said. “From building a house that has a footprint without wasted space that includes energy efficient materials, to utilizing solar energy, to the True Grid [permeable] driveway, I feel comfortable knowing that I am doing my part to lessen my negative impact on the environment.”

Gore teaches at West Brunswick High School in Shallotte, where her grandmother also taught for 30 years.