Military Plans Huge Solar Undertaking
SolarCity and Balfour Beatty Communities, LLC announced earlier this week plans to hook up 4,700 military homes with solar at Fort Bliss, Texas, and the adjacent White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) in New Mexico. The 13.2 megawatt project is part of a wider campaign called SolarStrong, a five-year commitment that will deliver $1 billion in energy projects for up to 120,000 military homes in the U.S.
"Fort Bliss continues to make advances in reducing its overall energy footprint and demonstrating its leadership on the forefront of energy efficiency," Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for energy and environment, said in a statement.
"This public-private partnership is a strategic and significant investment which will, over the life cycle of the installed photo-voltaic system, save the government money while providing an alternative and sustainable source of energy to the installation. I am confident the Army will continue to lead the way on innovative business partnerships like the one here at Fort Bliss," she said.
Construction of this phase of SolarStrong begins in January. It will bring in 100 local jobs. What makes this part of the campaign key is the scope: WSMR and Fort Bliss are among the largest military sites in the country. Once completed, the project will represent the U.S.'s largest solar-powered community, "generating more than 21 million kilowatt-hours each year from more than 50,000 solar panels."
-- Brian Foley