The Silvies Valley Ranch, a rural, eco-friendly luxury resort in eastern Oregon that has home microgrids, is slowly moving forward. It is one of several projects throughout the US responding to growing demand from US homeowners seeking residential microgrids for resilience and sustainability. Either planned or already in place at Silvies Valley Ranch are homes, ranging in size from 2,000 square feet to 6,000 square feet, that come with their own solar off-grid microgrid along with a Humless Universal System, which is a battery system. It also includes a propane genset for when batteries run low or the weather is bad.

The ranch chose solar microgrids because they’re less expensive than bringing grid electricity to the remote, mountainous region — and more sustainable. The systems include 4.2 kW to 7 kW of solar plus 20 kWh to 40 kWh of energy storage, said Eric Lobdell, vice president of sales and product development for Humless, the company providing the equipment for the microgrids. The COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain challenges and labor shortages have slowed development of the ranch, but the project is inching forward, with eight to 10 new homes operating off-grid now and three to five expected to be completed this summer, said Lobdell. The ranch’s goal is to build 600 homes […]