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When the White House announced its DOD Privatized Housing Solar Challenge in 2015, Corvias eagerly accepted the opportunity to support our military partners in achieving their ambitious, long-term renewable energy goals. In cooperation with the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the DOD Privatized Housing Solar Challenge urges companies that own privatized housing units on military installations to increase the amount of solar energy generated so as to save military families money on utility bills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and make military communities more energy secure.
Electrical rate volatility and unpredictability of costs are one of Corvias’ largest annual operating expenditures. When the DOD announced its “Military Housing Solar Challenge,” Corvias took it as another opportunity to support our partner while simultaneously lowering our costs. Corvias is committed to leveraging its core capabilities in public-private partnerships, real estate management, and renewable energy project finance and development to help the military reach its sustainability goals by the year 2030: 25% of energy consumption from renewable sources by 2025 and over 2GW (Gigawatts) of renewable energy capacity by the year 2030.
To help the DOD meet its aggressive targets, Corvias has partnered with Onyx Renewable Partners, a renewable energy development company to initiate an accelerated program that is currently deploying approximately 100 megawatts (MW) of solar power through rooftop and ground-mount solar panels within the housing footprint at 10 of our Army and Air Force partner installations.
Corvias’ distinct public-private partnership model allows us to approach energy management for each of our partners. Corvias has helped our military partner solve some of their toughest facilities and infrastructure challenges. Corvias’ solar initiative is an extension of our commitment to helping our partners achieve their goals and supports our company core value of materially improving the communities in which we serve. Corvias has also engaged with military veterans who have recently graduated from the “Solar Ready Vets” program, which was started by the Department of Energy to provide active-duty service members who are near the end of their enlistment with an opportunity to train for careers in the solar industry.
Aberdeen Proving Ground and Fort Meade, Maryland, were the first of Corvias’ partnerships to introduce the initiative. Once fully constructed and interconnected to the local grids, solar energy will be produced on nearly 2,000 homes and will account for up to one-third of total residential energy consumption at these two installations alone. Within one year, Corvias installed solar at more than 1,400 homes and on the apartment community at Reese Crossings. Furthering our innovation within each program, Corvias was awarded four grants from the Maryland Energy Administration to develop and construct the first Parking Lot Solar Photovoltaic Canopies with corresponding Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at Fort Meade.
Solar implementation at Corvias’ remaining military installations has been organized into tranches and will proceed according to results of extensive due diligence and feasibility analyses, which assess structural and soil stability, placement to maximize effectiveness, and potential impacts to the existing utility grids. Corvias is also demonstrating its expertise and flexibility in navigating the complex regulatory and legal issues surrounding the project. With locations spanning from Florida to California, each partnership has a unique set of state mandates, public and private stakeholders, timeframes, and existing agreements in place, all of which must be diplomatically addressed and seamlessly coordinated before construction can commence. Through intensive planning and partnering, Corvias is anticipating projects at all 12 installations will be completed by fall of 2019.
In addition to the environmental benefits of supplying military household’s energy that is clean, reliable, and sustainable, investing in solar energy provides Corvias the opportunity to better manage utility expenditures over the long term while reducing costs to residents. As fluctuating utility costs for Corvias continue to be a substantial portion of expenses, rate stabilization will ultimately result in significant savings that can be reinvested into the partnerships for additional program scope. Further, all work is being completed at no cost to the military, demonstrating Corvias’ unwavering commitment to developing innovative solutions that tackle the nation’s environmental challenges while simultaneously providing additional value for our partners, residents, and communities.
Corvias’ initiative also plays an important role in advancing clean energy technology innovation and job creation. Power Factor is a Maryland-based company that has completed the solar work on Corvias communities and now has the experience and potential to expand their business. Corvias has partnered with Onyx Renewable Partners, a renewable energy development company that has successfully designed and installed more than 760 MW in sustainable solar projects across the US. Corvias has also engaged with military veterans who have recently graduated from the “Solar Ready Vets” program, which was started by the Department of Energy to provide active-duty service members who are near the end of their enlistment with an opportunity to train for careers in the solar industry. Corvias was recognized in 2016 as an example of the White House’s Build America Investment Initiative for creating partnerships that focus on socio-economic development to benefit of the communities we serve, while ensuring a more stable environment for generations to come.