U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs Installs 2.4MW of Solar Parking Canopy Systems

Solar Parking Canopy Systems VA
Parking canopies composed of SolarWorld solar panels stand as part of a new solar system at the West Texas VA Health Center in Big Spring. (Photo: Business Wire)

SolarWorld, the largest U.S. solar manufacturer,  announced today that the company has supplied two projects totaling 2.6 megawatts-peak (MW) of American-made solar panels for facilities of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Efficient Energy of Tennessee (EETN) was the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for the solar systems at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas, and West Texas VA Health Center in Big Spring, Texas. San Francisco-based CivicSolar provided distribution services for the projects. The three companies are finalists in bidding on other VA installations. The projects in Kansas and Texas, each including solar parking canopy systems, were completed over recent months.

Today, Veterans Day, the three companies are proud to announce that they are helping to spur the agency’s build-out of its renewable-energy supplies. The VA has set its sights toward generating as much as 5 percent of its power supply from solar over the short term and 20 percent by 2020. All three companies value their roles in equipping the VA’s drive to meet its clean energy goals. In fact, EETN, founded by a veteran, has supported up to 20 jobs for veterans at its solar projects for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“We honor and value our nation’s returning soldiers, and all they have done for us,” said Ardes Johnson, U.S. vice president for sales of SolarWorld Americas Inc. and a former naval officer. “We know that solar can reduce the amount of fuel and fuel convoys in theater and therefore save lives as well as curb our needs for foreign fossil fuels. We also embrace the skills, leadership and training of our military men and women as potential employees working to advance this American-pioneered high-tech manufacturing industry.”

Efficient Energy of Tennessee was established in 2009 in Powell, Tenn., by Robbie Thomas, a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Navy Submarine Force.

“As a veteran, I fully understand how expanding renewable energy supports our national defense and energy security,” Thomas said. “Efficient Energy of Tennessee is proud to support veterans in the solar energy workforce because they bring an unparalleled skill set and unyielding focus to accomplish the mission.”

CivicSolar said it was honored to supply these flagship VA projects with high-quality, made-in-the-USA products that comply with federal Buy American Act requirements. CivicSolar’s ability to support and supply multiple solar projects exceeding 1 MW enabled the company to contribute significant value to the projects.

“Being able to supply multiple sites with BAA product in a timely fashion allowed EETN and CivicSolar to support the VA nationwide,” said Stuart Rentz, CEO of CivicSolar.

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.

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