SolarCity plans largest US solar-powered community

A collection of organizations are planning a 6MW solar PV installation in Arizona, billed as the largest solar-powered community in the continental US, to provide nearly all the energy needed for a 900-residence community on an air force base.

October 29, 2009 – A collection of organizations are planning a 6MW solar PV installation in Arizona, billed as the largest solar-powered community in the continental US, to provide nearly all the energy needed for a 900-residence community on an air force base.

The project at Soaring Heights Communities at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, bringing together housing developer Actus Lend Lease, Tuscon Electric Power, and finance from National Bank of Arizona and US Bancorp Community Development, ultimately will produce >10M kWh of annual electricity, enough for an estimated 75% of residents’ projected energy use in 2010, and could ultimately offset 100% of it; the entire project also would increase Arizona’s current grid-tied solar capacity by 15%.

The system as described would include a total of 6MW solar capacity: 3.3MW from a 45,000-panel ground-mounted system (owned by National Bank of AZ), and the rest from 36,000 panels in rooftop solar systems (financed by US Bancorp). The systems will be designed and installed by SolarCity and interconnected by TEP. (Actus also is developing an even bigger solar powered community at its Army Hawaii Family Housing complex.) Installations of 1000 PV modules/day began earlier this month on nearby vacant land; TEP will provide incentives to reduce the long-term cost of the PV installation.
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