Air Force Base Hosting Largest Solar-Powered Community to Date

Want to live where solar power almost powers the entire community? You’ll have to be in a military family then and also be willing to live in the sometimes very hot Arizona climate . This is because SolarCity, a solar power company, is developing this community on an Air Force base near Tucson.

SolarCity, in conjunction with others including the U.S. Air Force, is adding a bunch of solar panels to Soaring Heights Communities at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. The full solar paneling system, once installed, is “expected to produce more than 10 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually—sufficient to provide an estimated 75 percent of the residents’ energy use next year.” It is believed this percentage could be eventually boosted to offset the entire community’s electrical use.

image via SolarCity

image via SolarCity

So what does it take to make this the “largest solar-powered community in the continental U.S?” The system, to be designed and installed by SolarCity and then tied into Tucson Electric Power, consists of a combination of 45,000 panels ground-mounted – accounting for more than 3.3 megawatts of solar capacity – and 36,000 more panels in the rooftop arrays of around 900 residences. Once completed, it will reportedly “represent an increase of more than 15 percent over Arizona’s current grid-tied solar capacity.”

SolarCity Soaring Heights [via Matter Network]

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.