US military continues to invest in PV

08. January 2013 | Applications & Installations, Markets & Trends | By:  Jonathan Gifford

In another sign of its continuing and robust support for photovoltaics, the U.S. military has given the go-ahead for a 12.3 MW installation at the Joint Military Base McGuire-Dix Lakehurst in New Jersey.

Military officers in front of a helicopter.

The Joint Base is currently having the array installed on privately-owned housing.

As the country’s biggest energy consumer, the U.S. Department of Defense has been investing in renewable energy in pursuit of its goal to obtain 25% of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. The latest project in pursuit of this goal is the largest military community-based solar installation, which is being installed a joint military facility in Burlington Country, New Jersey.

An announcement yesterday confirmed the closure of financing for the 12.3 MW installation at the McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst base, which is being installed across the roofs of privatized family housing. The installation will provide electricity at a reduced rate to families at the base. The U.S. Air Force has granted its consent for the virtual power plant at the base, which is the country’s only "tri-service" site – with army, navy and air force facilities there.

The financing was closed by True Green Capital Management, which raised US$35 million for the installation, along with a $24 million credit facility, provided by CIT Bank.  True Green Capital Management is a New York-based private equity firm, specializing in renewable asset management.

Jeffrey T. Brown of True Green Capital Management, in a statement announcing the installation’s financing, said, "Beyond its status as one of the largest military community-based photovoltaic power plants in the U.S., this is a strategic investment for our firm that reinforces the important role solar energy will play in our domestic energy mix in the coming years."

Trinity Solar is carrying out the installation, the second time it has done so for a True Green Capital Management asset. "Trinity is proud of what this project stands for and we look forward to completing a system that provides the military families on-base with renewable electricity produced right here at home," said Trinty Solar’s CEO Tom Pollock. The project will employ 120 staff during the installation, which is scheduled for completion in the second half of this year.

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