Tesla has signed a deal to provide solar panels, Powerwall+ solar power batteries, and wall-mounted electric vehicle chargers for a new luxury home development in Palm Beach, Florida. The new development will feature a golf course designed by golfer and golf course designer Jack Nicklaus.
The luxury houses and golf course are being developed by Centaur US Holdings. Miami-based architectural firm Strang Design will design the new houses. When complete, the new Palm Beach development will include 218 homes. The new development is officially known as Panther National. The developers said in a statement on Panther National’s website:
“Tesla Solar Panels, Powerwall+ with an integrated inverter and Tesla Wall Connectors will work together as a cohesive system to enable residences to achieve energy independence. The flat roof design at Panther National coupled with the Florida sun provides the ideal landscape for Tesla’s proprietary solar panels. In addition, the Powerwall+ systems will replace outdated and noisy generators used in storm-prone areas.”
Solar powered batteries like the Powerwall+, which is a more capable version of the Powerwall designed for home use, are an attractive alternative to generators in states like Florida, which can get hit hard by hurricane season. 2021’s hurricane season is expected to peak in September. After Hurricane Irma in 2017, some Floridians’ power was out for more than a week. This can cause a serious situation for many of the senior citizens who retired to Florida, especially if they rely on their electricity staying on to run medical equipment for home use.
Development for Panther National is scheduled to begin by the end of 2021. Tesla has also signed deals to provide its solar power products for two housing developments in Texas. One will be in Porter and the other will be in Austin.
Tesla may have prioritized making its first couple of deals for adding its power products to new homes in Texas in the wake of Elon Musk’s call for the development of more housing in the Austin area in anticipation that qualified employees may need to relocate in order to work at the manufacturing facilities being built for SpaceX and Tesla in the Austin area. Elon Musk has also made $30 million in donations to the Boca Chica, Texas, area for education and community improvement projects in a bid to attract qualified employees for SpaceX’s test launch facility.
This could be a sign of a new strategy for Tesla’s energy products in the wake of frustration over recent price hikes for retrofits for its Solar Roof and a lawsuit brought by Tesla investors alleging that Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity amounted to a bailout of Elon Musk’s cousins, both of whom owned stakes in SolarCity, which was struggling financially at the time. Making the solar products available to third party developers is less complex than retrofitting existing homes with solar roofs and Powerwalls. The addition of the Tesla Wall Connectors, which can charge EVs like the vehicles built by Tesla, may be a sign of anticipation of strong demand for Tesla’s higher-end vehicles like the Model S Plaid among Panther National’s future residents.