6MW Air force base project to be largest in continental U.S. to date

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In a joint project effort Actus Lend Lease, SolarCity, Tucson Electric Power (TEP), and financing parties National Bank of Arizona and U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC) will create distributed, community-wide solar power systems at Soaring Heights Communities at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Upon completion, the project is estimated to be the largest solar-powered community in the continental U.S.

The planned solar systems should produce more than 10 million kWh of electricity per year, which is sufficient to provide around 75% of the residents’ energy use in 2010. This could eventually offset 100% of Soaring Heights Communities’ electricity use.

The project will include 6MW of total solar capacity in a combination of a ground-mounted PV system and rooftop solar systems that will be installed on approximately 900 residences.

National Bank of Arizona will own the 45,000 panel ground-mounted system, which accounts for more than 3.3MW of solar capacity. The balance of the system is expected to consist of 36,000 more panels in the rooftop arrays. These rooftop systems will be financed within an existing SolarCity fund, which was financed by U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC) in early 2009.

“We are very excited about the Soaring Heights Communities project because it allows us to leverage our background and expertise in renewable energy initiatives as they relate to community development,” said Dale Connor, Actus Lend Lease managing director. “We look forward to working closely with our partners and the Department of Defense to set a standard for sustainable living here in Arizona and throughout the country.”

The solar systems will be designed and installed by SolarCity and will be interconnected by TEP.

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