By Jeff St. John, Canary Media
Multifamily housing has lagged far behind single-family homes in adopting solar panels and batteries. But Michael Huerta, CEO of PearlX, believes his company has found a way to crack the market, starting in Texas.
Project TexFlex — the new program PearlX launched Thursday in partnership with SolarEdge, a vendor of solar power electronics, batteries and inverters — will start with a single apartment building in Houston. But it plans to expand to multifamily projects across the state, backed by $50 million of PearlX’s $250 million in commitments from institutional infrastructure investors.
“Multifamily real estate has not been touched by solar, let alone solar-storage,” Huerta said. PearlX’s approach is designed to work around the disconnects and misaligned incentives facing rental properties that could go solar — at least in the energy markets that support its novel business model.
“This is just the beginning,” Huerta said in an interview this week. PearlX and SolarEdge are also working together on projects in California, another market with ample solar opportunities that multifamily properties haven’t yet been able to tap into in a big way.