Balfour Beatty Communities and SolarCity have completed more than 1,300 rooftop solar installations at Navy housing communities located in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York andRhode Island. SolarCity designs, builds and maintains the solar panels, and Balfour Beatty Communities purchases the power they produce at a discount to local utility rates, generating savings for the overall project.
The project brings more than 7.5 megawatts of rooftop solar power generation capacity to the residential housing areas operated by Balfour Beatty Communities at five naval bases located in the northeast: Mitchell Field, East Meadow, NY; Naval Submarine Base, New London, CT; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Lakehurst, NJ; Naval Support Activity, Saratoga Springs, NY; and Naval Station, Newport, RI. This effort builds on the 13.3 megawatts of rooftop solar that Balfour Beatty Communities and SolarCity partnered to develop across the Balfour Beatty Communities-managed housing at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.
These installations are the first east coast projects of SolarStrong, SolarCity’s plan to build more than $1 billion in rooftop solar projects to provide power to 120,000 military homes throughout the United States.
The SolarStrong initiative has meant new hiring for SolarCity—with approximately two-dozen new staff brought on directly for the Navy Northeast projects and an additional 90 staff mobilized to speed completion. SolarCity emphasizes veteran hiring across the company, and has hired military veterans in over 90 locations across the United States in installation, recruiting, business development, sales and more.
Several U.S. Senators from the Northeast, praised the initiative:
“The SolarStrong initiative to install rooftop solar power at Naval Facilities along the east coast will help bring sustainable power to countless military personnel in New York as well as their families. This project is a win-win because the solar energy installations will help save money and benefit the environment, and I am delighted that SolarCity has focused on such an important cause,” said U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York.
“Solar energy is a great solution for military families that lowers costs, builds healthier communities, and reduces carbon emissions to help fight climate change. Our military families give so much to our country—it’s fantastic for them to have access to affordable clean energy choices. I was proud to work with my colleagues to fight for the inclusion of renewable energy tax credits in this year’s spending bill. Now, SolarCity and other businesses will be empowered to create more clean energy jobs in New Jersey and reduce annual carbon emissions across the nation equivalent to the emissions from dozens of coal-fired power plants. Forward thinking projects like SolarStrong strengthen our communities and are an important part of our transition to a clean energy future,” said U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey.
“Solar energy is a win-win for our environment and our economy—providing clean, renewable energy at affordable rates, as well as good jobs for the American workers who develop and build the technology. I applaud this smart energy investment in the Navy’s New Londonfamily housing. I fought hard to ensure extension of the solar tax credit in the omnibus budget and tax measure passed by Congress at the close of last year, and I will continue to fight to ensure that clean energy sources like solar grow as a vital and valuable part of our country’s energy portfolio,” said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.