Great news on solar power: More eco-friendly military housing is on the horizon. Today, SolarCity announced that three more solar panel rooftop projects will be added to Air Force bases in California and Colorado later this summer. The additional bases are a part of SolarStrong, a $1-billion solar installation project.
SolarCity, partnered with property developer Lend Lease, plans to provide solar power to more than 850 privatized military homes in Los Angeles and Colorado Springs. The five-year project is aiming to create up to 300 megawatts of solar power for as many as 120,000 military housing units across the U.S. If completed, SolarStrong would be the largest solar project in America.
Solar power projects are already underway or completed at Hickam Communities at Joint Base Pearl Harbor and Soaring Heights Community at Tucson’s Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, pictured above.
About 4 megawatts of solar power will be installed at Hickam Communities by 2013 — we’ve got more on that project coming in a few hours.
Davis-Monthan AFB installed 6 megawatts of solar power in December 2010 in the form of ground mounts and rooftops. Another 14.5 megawatts will be generated by solar panels covering 130 acres of land at two locations around Davis-Monthan.
Reduced Waste, Increased Savings
Fitting homes and underutilized land with solar panels is a progressive energy and financial strategy for the Department of Defense. While politicians quibble over how to reduce government spending, the Department of Defense — the single-largest energy consumer in the U.S. — is heading in the right direction with renewable energy sources like solar panels.
An exciting example of increased savings from solar is at Davis-Monthan: “The solar PV project is expected to provide approximately 35 percent of the base electricity requirements, reducing base utilities cost by an average of $500,000 annually.” Sounds like the Tucson Air Force base is meeting its goal to “Think green, build green, and fly blue.”
Image: Lend Lease
Chelsea is a former newspaper reporter who has spent the past few years teaching English in Poland, Finland and Japan. When she wasn't teaching or writing, Chelsea was traveling Europe and Asia, sampling spicy street food along the way.