SolarCity announced another major military contract today to install solar panels on the roofs of 7,500 military base houses in Hawaii.
All together the solar installations at Fort Shafter, Schofiels Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield, Aliamanu Military Reservation, Helemano Military Reservation and Tripler Army Medical Center are expected to add 12.8 megawatts of solar energy capacity to the grid in Oahu.
The announcement is just the latest in a series of releases about advances for the California-based solar leasing company’s SolarStrong program. SolarCity announced in November that it was embarking on an ambitious five-year project to win contracts with the nation’s private military housing communities to install more than $1 billion worth of rooftop solar that it would own, maintain and lease back to the housing communities.
When the SolarStrong project is complete, SolarCity estimates it will have installed solar on the roofs of 120,000 military homes and created 300 megawatts of solar capacity.
The Hawaii military bases join Fort Bliss in Texas, White Sands Missile Range and Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Marine Corps Base Hawai’i and Navy Region Hawai’i, Los Angeles Air Force Base, and Peterson and Schriever Air Force Bases in Colorado in the SolarStrong program.
While the SolarStrong program is a good fit for military base housing communities throughout the country, it’s a particularly good move in Hawaii according to a release from SolarCity.
“Hawai’i is dependent upon petroleum for approximately 75 percent of its energy needs, making the military’s further adoption of solar a win for national security as well as the environment,” said Aaron Gillmore, SolarCity’s vice president of solar development.
In addition to pursuing contracts with military housing communities as part of its SolarStrong program, SolarCIty has created a focus on hiring veterans. The growing company has more than 100 veterans on staff now and aims to give preference to veterans in its latest hiring initiative for the Hawaii project.
SolarCity’s stock sold in an initial public offering in December at $9.20 per share and has risen to $40.03 as of July 25.