WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced Oct. 29 that Navy and Marine Corps housing units in the San Diego area will receive rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems through a purchase power agreement between Lincoln Military Housing and SolarCity.
The agreement will provide solar power to nearly 6,000 homes across 27 privatized neighborhoods, and with pending design and interconnection approvals could generate up to 20 megawatts (MW) of solar energy.
"Our Department of the Navy goal is to ensure that at least 50 percent of our shore-based energy comes via alternative sources," said Mabus. "By establishing these sources of renewable energy we ensure both energy independence and cost savings well into the future. This agreement is another step toward achieving our one gigawatt goal."
In 2009, Congress mandated the Department of the Defense (DoD) to produce or procure 25 percent of total DoD facility energy from renewable sources by 2025. Secretary Mabus is leaning forward and has directed the Department of the Navy (DON) to produce or procure one gigawatt (GW) by end of 2015.
Jarl Bliss, president of Lincoln Military Housing added, "For the last few years, we have worked closely with the Department of the Navy to find a renewable energy program which will greatly benefit our military families and support our Navy partner in reaching its renewable energy goals. Through this agreement with SolarCity, Lincoln projects savings of at least $60 million over the 20-year term that can be reinvested in project sustainment."
San Diego Family Housing, LLC has agreed to purchase all electricity produced by the systems at below the cost of brown power over the 20-year term of the agreement. This will result in long-term savings, which will be reinvested in the communities, providing military families residing in the Public Private Venture housing with an improved quality of living.
SolarCity will be responsible for the design, installation, monitoring and maintenance of the PV systems.
"Energy in the United States needs to become cleaner, more secure and more affordable, and few realize this more clearly than the leadership of the Department of the Navy," said SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive. "With this SolarStrong project, Lincoln Military Housing is contributing to the well-being of its residents, and to the nation."
To date, the DoN has 110 MW currently online or under contract and is actively pursuing additional megawatts. In September, the Western Area Power Administration issued a request for proposal (RFP) for up to 200 MW (potentially multiple projects and generation sources) to serve 14 DoN installations in California. On the heels of this, Defense Logistics Agency Energy announced another RFP, Oct. 23, for up to 55 MW of renewable energy for Texas installations Naval Air Station (NAS) Corpus Christi, NAS Kingsville and NAS Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth.
Incorporating energy efficient practices and alternative energy sources, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, can reduce the reliance on the commercial power grid and increase resiliency on DoN facilities.
For more information about DoN's energy efforts please visit, http://greenfleet.dodlive.mil/energy/.