Bank of America, SolarCity and USRG Renewable Finance plan to install 371 MW of photovoltaics on military bases across the U.S., at a cost of over $1 billion, in what the partners say is the largest residential solar project in the U.S.
Project SolarStrong aims to install rooftop PV systems on up to 160,000 military homes, on as many as 124 bases in 33 states. The partners say the project will avoid 250,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year.
It is the second major-scale solar announcement from Bank of America since the company announced its participation in Project Amp, likely the biggest distributed solar deal in history. That $2.6 billion initiative aims to put about 733 MW of solar panels on 3,000 acres of rooftops owned by industrial real estate giant Prologis. (Much more detail about Project Amp can be found in the latest edition of EL Insights.)
Project SolarStrong is the brainchild of San Mateo, Calif.-based SolarCity, a full-service solar provider for homeowners, businesses and government organizations. SolarCity will install, own and operate the solar installations.
In addition to debt financing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Project SolarStrong has obtained a conditional commitment for partial guarantee of a $344 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office. USRG Renewable Finance, a subsidiary of US Renewables Group, will oversee project financing.
The first stage of the project is already underway at Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu, and is projected to power more than 2,000 homes.
Thousands of workers are expected to be hired over a five-year period to complete the SolarStrong project. Many of these jobs are slated be filled by U.S. veterans and military family members, who will be recruited, trained and employed to install, operate and maintain the PV systems.