Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
3:31 pm EDT
Tuesday, August 4, 2020

EXTRAORDINARY HOMES: Green Key Village—Homes that run on sunshine

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There once was a glorious time where we lived without energy bills, but our milk spoiled quicker and keeping our toes toasty was a literal chore. With modern advancements comes modern convenience, but what does it cost us? Usually a small fortune each month, and we can hardly discount the effects on the environment. Green Key Village in Lady Lake is a unique green-living community designed to cut this cost without cutting comfort. Focused on the idea of achieving Net Zero Living, they are building homes that not only conserve energy, but produce it, naturally.

The number-one ingredient in their recipe for the ultimate energy efficient home—solar power. Using panels that harvest the sun’s radiation, these homes have the potential to collect more energy than they can use, greatly reducing or even eliminating a monthly bill. This is Net Zero.

Kim Thomas, wife of the community’s developer Greg Thomas, explains how it works: “Anything in excess that you produce goes back through the grid, then in the evening and the sun isn’t shining and you’re not producing any power with your panels, you pull it back off.”

The couple ran a remodeling business for a number of years before the opportunity for a project like this arose. It wasn’t until they found the perfect property that things started to click.

“When Greg saw the property, he knew it would be the perfect place for homes with solar because of the lack of trees here.” It was the site of an abandoned development off Lake Ella road, called Sevenoaks, named so for the seven oak trees scattered across the open property.

What’s really astonishing about these homes is level of luxury they offer. Green living doesn’t mean we all have to head for the trees if we don’t wish to. The architecture of the homes is styled after Key West and the interiors are complete with state-of-the-art appliances. Green Key Village homeowners have access to an accomplished interior designer as well. There is a community garden on the property, and ground was recently broken for a recreational facility. Coming amenities include a pool, bath house, picnic pavilions, tennis courts, a pickleball court, a half basketball court, and a sand volleyball area.


PHOTOS: Fred Lopez

About the Author

Michelle was born in the heat of South Florida, but has called Lake County “home” for the last 9 years. Latching on to the idea that “if you want to be a little bit of everything, be a writer,” Michelle found her focus in a Leesburg high school Journalism class. Fascinated by the model of a renaissance man, she has since had her hand in many areas such as dance, travel, food, film, theatre, history, as well as costuming and Fashion design. But Michelle’s focus has always been the written word. While garnering a Bachelor’s degree In English Literature from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fl, she was a part of The International English Honors society, Sigma Tau Delta and a regular contributor to the literary zine, Paperfinger. She is now, at 24, nearing the end of her Master’s program In English & Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, with a particular interest in poetry and the Romantics. As many of her interests are culturally fueled, she finds it important to fully absorb the world around and let her writing reflect these varied influences. Also believing “lower standards will lower the culture,” Michelle aims to keep standards high in her writing by being in tune with the community. She is ecstatic to be associated with the quality people and publications at Aker’s Media Group, who have their finger on the pulse of the community.

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