A SolarCity install in Arizona. Image credit: SolarCity
SolarCity's $280m partnership with Google, along with its innovative Solar Lease financing program, have already made great strides in taking solar into the mainstream. Now the company is partnering up with another influential player—the US Air Force—to install solar to power 2000 homes in Hawaii. While some hardcore greenies may be surprised that the US military is putting its weight behind clean tech, they really shouldn't be. The US Air Force has already distinguished itself as the number 8 purchaser of renewable energy in the country, and the air force even held the record for the largest solar farm in the country for some time. In fact, as Brian has noted, the US military could be instrumental in bringing solar power into the mainstream.
So the news that SolarCity will be installing solar power on 600 rooftops at the Hickham Air Force base in Hawaii, with a targeted total of 4 megawatts in capacity—enough to provide power to 2000 homes on the base—can only be seen as good news. This is all part of a broader effort to reach Department of Defense goals to have 25 percent of its energy requirements met by renewable energy by 2025:
"Entering into this power purchase agreement with support from Air Force leadership has given us an opportunity to give back to our families today and into the future," said Jerry Schmitz, project director of Hickam Communities. "In addition to reducing emissions, money saved can go back into maintaining our community and providing services and programs for our families."
According to SolarCity, the installation is expected to be one of the largest solar projects in Hawai'i, and one of the largest solar powered communities in the U.S.
More on Renewable Energy and the Military
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How US Military Could Bring Solar to the Masses