Net-Zero Energy Community Debuts 2019 in Cortez


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, December 4, 2018 – Pearl Homes, a Bradenton-based developer, is set to start marketing in January 2019 the residences of its new project in Cortez—Hunters Point & Marina—touted as the first net zero-energy community in Manatee County and only the second of its kind in the U.S.

Pearl Homes tapped a Los Angeles-based energy storage solutions firm, Sonnen, to bring Hunters Point to the net-zero energy standards set by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) of the U.S. Department of Energy. The NREL defines a net zero-energy community as “one that has greatly reduced energy needs through efficiency gains such that the balance of energy for vehicles, thermal, and electrical energy within the community is met by renewable energy.”

AI-driven Home Power System

Pearl Homes has set 148 residences in the Hunters Point property which spans 18.7 acres at the northwest corner Cortez Road and 124th Street Court West. Rooftop solar panels will be installed on each of these residences together with an affordable Sonnen energy storage system, a small thermostat, and an EV charger. A new and powerful software platform for energy automation based on Sonnen’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology will control all of these installations.

The whole setup will work in conjunction with the Google Home smart speaker system enabling users to interact with AI services through voice commands. This would be the first time for the Google Home system to be adopted for an energy storage system in a master-planned community in order to maximize intelligent use of each home’s renewable energy.

Initial tests conducted for Hunters Point show that its homes are capable of generating about 96 percent of their own clean energy and becoming fully net zero an achievable goal. Overall, the community’s Sonnen system represent a storage capacity of 9MWh and 7.2MW of power.

Modern Florida “Cracker” Cottages

Pearl Homes would initially sell 86 residences at Hunters Point & Marina starting January next year, with an additional 62 homes set for this community’s Phase 2. The home builds will each feature over 1,700 square feet of floor space. Starting prices are at around the $400s for those residences without a boat slip.

Prospective buyers of Sarasota or Bradenton homes for sale drawn to this community have four home design choices. All are in the traditional Florida “cracker” cottage-style dwellings with a modern look added. Interested buyers also have the opportunity to avail of the services of Pearl Homes’ design director to firm up their selection. Besides the 148 Hunters Point residences, Pearl Homes is also planning a 720-unit apartment complex within the community.

This development is bordered west, north, and east by a canal that enables access to Anna Maria Sound and Palma Sola Bay to the north and Sarasota Bay to the south. Given this waterfront location, Hunters Point is planned to include a marina with 47 boat slips amongst its amenities.

Hunters Point is notably Pearl Homes’ second community in Bradenton that was developed with energy-efficiency as its main selling proposition. This developer is also behind Mirabella at Village Green, an LEED-certified community in West Bradenton wherein the newly built homes are priced in the $300s‒$400s range.