Americans have recently voiced support for solar energy, and the latest installation at the Marine Helicopter Squadron 1’s greenside hangar in Quantico seems to support that — it’s a 120-kilowatt solar array powered by 500 solar panels putting out a total of 150,000 kWh per year.
The solar array will be installed by FLS Energy and the solar panels will be provided by Suniva, which was chosen by FLS Energy CEO Michael Shore specifically because of its panels’ high efficiency and because it builds American. (Suniva’s panels contain more than 80% U.S. content, according to Suniva.)
We Grow Our Solar Panels Here
Suniva, which has had other governments contracts in the past, is happy to maintain its federal connections. Chief marketing officer Bryan Ashley spoke enthusiastically in its news release about this particular installation:
“We’re very proud that Suniva’s cells and modules, created here in the U.S.A., are being used to help the US Navy meet its ambitious renewable energy targets. This installation at the Marine Corps Air Field will produce clean, renewable energy that is secure at the base and independent of external sources.”
Yes, the Navy Is Required To Be Green, Too
Part of the reason for the array’s installation is to meet energy mandates set by the secretary of the Navy. Namely, the Department of Navy must get 50% of its energy from renewable sources within the next eight years. A secondary benefit of the solar array is the expected reduction in electric bills (up to $10,500 per year).
Also driving installation of the solar array is the requirement for LEED certification (all Department of Navy military construction projects must meet LEED standards). The solar array won’t qualify the building for certification all on its own, but it will provide the final push, adding onto the building’s additional energy efficient technology.
Whatever else one might say about the American government and military, at least there are some steps being taken towards using cleaner, greener energy. What do you think – lip service or honest efforts? Let us know in the comments, below.