SolarCity has started to construct the first phase of its SolarStrong project, which seeks to provide solar power to 6,500 marine and naval families in Hawaii.
The first phase of the project, which is being carried out in conjunction with Forest City Military Communities, will seek to install a total of 24MW which would make it the largest project that SolarCity has undertaken to date.
So far, SolarCity and Forest City have completed the installation of the first 700 kW at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, and will soon initiate the first installations on Navy Region Hawaii.
Under the SolarStrong project, SolarCity aims to build more than US$1 billion worth of solar projects for US military housing communities in five years and is expected to create up to 300MW of PV capacity.
The project is primarily financed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and will help Hawaii to reduce its dependency on oil and bring it closer to its Clean Energy Initiative goal to generate 70% of clean energy, including 40% from renewable sources, by 2030.
The project will also help the Department of Defense, which is currently the largest energy consumer in the US, to make additional progress towards its goal to have 25% of its energy requirements met by renewable energy by 2025.
“Our partnership with SolarCity on this renewable energy initiative is a strong positive for the military and for the environment. Sustainability is a corporate core value at Forest City,” said Thomas Henneberry, president of Forest City Military Communities. “This is our first involvement with the SolarStrong project and we’re hopeful to find opportunities to expand it to other portions of our portfolio.”