SolarCity today announced plans to add 12.8 MW of new solar generation capacity to provide solar power to up to 7,500 military homes at Lend Lease-managed Island Palm Communities throughout the island of Oahu, including Fort Shafter, Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield, Aliamanu Military Reservation, Helemano Military Reservation and Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawai’i. The projects are the latest to be announced under SolarCity’s SolarStrong initiative, a five-year plan to build more than $1 billion in solar projects to provide power to up to 120,000 military homes in the United States. SolarCity has now initiated projects that are expected to provide renewable power to approximately 22,000 military homes when completed.
In addition to the work announced today, SolarStrong projects are underway at Fort Bliss in Texas, White Sands Missile Range and Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Marine Corps Base Hawai’i and Navy Region Hawai’i, Los Angeles Air Force Base, and Peterson and Schriever Air Force Bases in Colorado.
“Hawai’i is dependent upon petroleum for approximately 75 percent of its energy needs, making the military’s further adoption of solar a win for national security as well as the environment,” said Aaron Gillmore, SolarCity’s vice president of solar development.
In addition to SolarStrong, SolarCity is pursuing a veteran hiring initiative as part of its Workforce Development program. The company currently employs more than 100 veterans in various positions, including IT, sales, managerial, administration, design and installation. SolarCity has partnered with several veteran programs across the country, including Veteran Affairs national offices, JPMorgan Chase & Co’s ’100,000 Jobs Mission,’ Swords to Plowshares, The California National Guard, The California Conservation Corps and Veterans Green Jobs. SolarCity was recently recognized by the Employment Development Department (EDD) and the California Employer Advisory Council (CEAC) for “outstanding service in the employment of veterans” for the year 2013 and also received the “Outstanding Industry Partner Award” from Veterans Green Jobs.
— Solar Builder magazine