Balfour Beatty Communities and SolarCity are nearing completion of approximately 7 megawatts of solar at Air Force family housing in four states. The rooftop solar panels are installed across the residential communities managed by Balfour Beatty Communities at Travis Air Force Base (AFB), in California; Sheppard AFB in Texas; Tyndall AFB in Florida; and Luke AFB in Arizona. Together the installations utilize more than 26,000 solar panels to provide power to more than two thousand housing units.
"I am very pleased to see this renewable, green-energy project coming to Travis Air Force Base," said Congressman John Garamendi of California. "Installing solar on the homes of service members living in base housing makes sense. This type of creative partnership between private and public entities and the communities surrounding our major military installations has become essential to the long-term viability of those bases and the critical missions they execute. Funding for facility enhancements and critical base infrastructure has become very scarce due to budget cuts and sequestration. These types of partnerships leverage private and community resources to produce a win-win scenario that mutually benefits all partners. This project will save taxpayer money, help build long-term sustainability into the base, and is strategically smart for our military, our environment, and our nation."
"I commend all parties involved, especially the leadership at Travis Air Force, for prioritizing national security and military families, hiring of veterans, and deploying affordable clean energy in this innovative project that achieves multiple state and federal goals", said California State Assembly member Jim Frazier (D-Oakley), whose district includes Travis Air Force Base.
"The Luke Air Force Base solar project demonstrates how public-private collaboration can improve energy security and boost economic development by lowering utility costs and providing jobs for Arizona families, all through the magic of producing energy from Arizona’s most abundant resource, the sun," said Lupe Contreras, State Senator and Senate Minority Whip in Arizona Senate District 19.
SolarCity designed, built and will maintain the solar power systems, and the military housing project companies (jointly operated by the Air Force and Balfour Beatty Communities) realize savings from the lower cost of solar power. The rooftop installations will total nearly 7 megawatts (MW) of solar power generation capacity—Luke AFB is the largest of the installations with approximately 3.5MW of solar followed by Tyndall AFB at 1.4MW, Sheppard AFB at 1.1MW and Travis AFB with just under 1MW capacity.
"We are proud to extend our successful solar energy program to select properties within our Air Force portfolio," said Chris Williams, president of Balfour Beatty Communities. "When installation is complete at these properties, we will have more than 40 megawatts of solar power generating capacity across our military portfolio. We are quite pleased to be able to partner with SolarCity to bring this clean, sustainable energy resource to so many of our communities."
The SolarStrong initiative creates jobs across the country with dozens of staff working on and installing each individual solar project. 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.