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Solar Energy Powers the Military and Veterans
Monday, November 12th 2012 6:23 PM
By GetSolar Staff.
Just because Veteran's Day has already passed does not mean it's time to forget the work of current and former military personnel. In fact, the solar energy industry has been instrumental in powering operations for all branches of the military and in providing reliable and cost-effective electricity for when veterans return home from deployment.

Veterans Help Companies Adopt Solar Panels
One New Jersey solar installation company recently announced a new program designed to help veterans and organizations seek to help ex-military personnel get on their feet financially after returning home from a deployment. The Adopt-A-Solar-Panel program works in two ways. For one, veterans will able to receive above-average commissions on every solar panel sale they make. Plus, companies and other organizations will be able to have a portion of the money paid for a new installation go toward providing free PV power systems to groups like the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the American Legion.

The "Adopt-A-Solar-Panel Program is designed to not only help a veteran in need with an ample sales commission for every organized program sale, but also provide a green energy solution to non-profit organizations and sponsors involved with this distinct offering," the company said in a release.

PV Power Systems for Veterans
The California based San Fernando-Santa Clarita Valley Habitat for Heroes, an offshoot of the nationwide organization Habitat for Humanity, recently announced that they will be teaming up with California solar installers to put in photovoltaic arrays at no charge for the homes of veterans. SCV News reported that the organization plans to build 80 new homes with a solar energy installation starting in the spring of 2013.

The program not only will be providing no-cost installations on newly-constructed property, but they are also offering qualified veterans the chance to get a California solar installation at a drastically reduced rate on the home they already own. SCV News cited the example of one project for an Iraq War veteran's family living in Saugus. Thanks to the program, the family was able to afford a system that otherwise would have cost around $23,000 and thus was able to reduce their $300 monthly energy bills.

"Just to have the opportunity to give back in that way to our veterans who keep us free and have sacrificed so much is a bigger blessing to us, I think, than it is to them," Mark Figearo, the president and CEO of a California solar installation company, said to the news source.

Navy Weapons Station Turns to Solar
The Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake is now having its electricity needs partially met by a new 13.78 megawatt PV power plant, the largest such installation used by the Navy, EarthTechling reported.

The station, located about 120 miles away from Los Angeles, is expected to have about 30 percent of its annual electricity needs met by the installation, according to EarthTechling. The installation also includes solar trackers to make sure the panels capture a maximum amount of electricity.

Over the next 20 years, the location will see its annual energy bills reduced by approximately $13 million. To pay for the PV power system, the Navy elected to use a 20-year power purchase agreement, which should help to bring down monthly bills by at least 30 percent, the online news source reported.

"[T]he power plant is the first federal agency project to be financed through a 20-year term solar power purchase agreement (PPA)," the California solar installers responsible for the project said in a statement. "The 20-year PPA requires no upfront capital or maintenance obligations from the Navy, matches conventional project financing terms for solar power facilities, and allows the Navy to secure electricity at up to 30 percent below the rate available through shorter duration 10-year PPAs."

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