SolarStrong: Alive and Kicking
Last year, SolarCity partnered with U.S. Renewables Group Renewable Finance and Bank of America Merrill Lynch in a $1 billion effort to solarize military housing across the U.S. It’s making progress and surging ahead with new projects at sites owned and managed by Lend Lease.
On July 17 SolarCity announced that it is partnered with Lend Lease, an Australian-based international property and infrastructure group, which owns military residences across the U.S. Under the partnership, SolarCity will install solar photovoltaic arrays on 850 military residences at Tierra Vista at the Los Angeles Air Force Base, and at Peterson AFB and Schriever AFB, both in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The companies already partnered on other projects to put solar on military residences at the Soaring Heights Communities at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, and the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, Hawaii. “The Davis Monthan project is complete, and Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is over half way complete, but currently in the installation phase,” says SolarCity spokesperson Will Craven.
“Both are solar projects covering hundreds to thousands of residential homes—approximately 900 residences at Davis Monthan, and over 2,000 at Hickam. The residences at both bases are developed, built, and managed by Lend Lease,” Craven said. “Davis Monthan was installed in 2009 and 2010, and though it is not officially part of SolarStrong, it in many ways provided SolarStrong’s blueprint. Hickam is the first SolarStrong project.”
Lend Lease’s solar projects also include the largest solar communities in the country at the Soaring Heights Communities at Davis-Monthan and Island Palms Communities at Army Housing, Oahu, Hawaii, according to SolarCity. The company also operates the only military zero energy homes in the U.S. at Fort Campbell, Ky. and the largest solar thermal project in the U.S. at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
At this point these are the only SolarStrong projects that have been publicly named, according to Craven. “We can only publicly discuss projects when they are completely approved by all stakeholders and ready to move forward,” he said.
Right now SolarCity has only announced SolarStrong projects with Lend Lease. While Lend Lease maintains a number of military residences throughout the country, other companies do as well. “Any company which owns and manages privatized military residential communities is a potential SolarStrong partner,” Craven said.
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