A recent initiative declared by SolarCity has the potential to increase the number of residential solar PV installations in the USA to almost twofold. The ‘SolarStrong’ project of SolarCity has received a conditional commitment offer from Steven Chou, the US Energy Secretary to provide partial guarantee for a loan amount of $344 million to secure the required financing for the project.
As a component of the project, SolarCity has announced its plans to associate with a number of military housing-privatization developers to erect, own and manage around 160,000 rooftop solar installations over around 124 military housing constructions in 33 states of the USA. The project is expected to generate over $1 billion worth solar projects producing around 371 MW of new solar power. USRG Renewable Finance, an auxiliary of U.S. Renewables Group in association with BofA Merrill Lynch will perform the role of lead lender for the project.
The first SolarStrong project and joint effort between SolarCity and real estate developing company Lend Lease is being installed at Hickam Communities located at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii. The project when accomplished will generate enough power to meet the electricity requirement of over 2,000 homes of military families at the location.
The project will enable SolarCity to grow its presence from 11 states to around 33 states including those that have little or no solar power generation facilities and its staff strength of 1,200. As per the job impact and economic growth impact model of National Renewable Energy Laboratories’ (NREL), the new SolarStrong initiative will create around 6,000 direct jobs in installation and system maintenance and SolarCity is planning to fill in the maximum number of jobs by utilizing the services of the military family members and US veterans. It is anticipated that this new initiative will assist DOD to achieve more than 25% renewable power production by the year 2025.