The U.S. Navy and SolarCity have struck a deal to bring solar power to almost 6,000 homes in the San Diego area. The rooftop solar systems will be designed, built, and installed by SolarCity for Lincoln Military Housing, a private company that manages family housing for the military.
The cost details were not revealed, but it was estimated that Lincoln Military Housing will save $60 million dollars or more during the 20-year contract with SolarCity.
“For us, really, the focus is bringing down our utility costs and doing so in a manner that is responsible … to seek renewable energy sources that are basically reliable and affordable,” explained Al Zelaya, a senior project manager at Lincoln Military Housing.
The deal between SolarCity and the military housing company was aided by the solar power tax credit which is 30% of project costs. It is available through the end of December 2016.
If solar power in America is to be supported, that tax credit should be extended. Currently, solar power only generates about one percent of America’s electricity, so it doesn’t make much sense to discontinue the incentive if the goal is to grow solar power.
One of the fascinating things about what is happening with solar power currently is that more mainstream organizations like the military are investing in it. It used to be perceived more as a fringe technology but this is clearly no longer the case. SolarCity wants to provide solar power for 120,000 units of military housing.
Another one is that Elon Musk is a leading investor in SolarCity, and Tesla is working on constructing a factory for producing its own batteries. Some of them, or versions of them, might be adapted for home energy storage, though this usage will probably not be happening soon. Home energy storage is likely to be a key development that will support the expansion of renewable energy.