WASHINGTON - Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), released the following statement after today's announcement by Energy Secretary Chu of a $344 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy to support a national solar energy project on military homes. The "SolarStrong" project proposes to install solar photovoltaic systems on 160,000 military homes on 124 bases in 33 states. Project partners include installer SolarCity and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch. SolarCity plans to fill as many as possible of the estimated 3,000 jobs created under this project with U.S. veterans and military family members.
"This landmark deal for SolarCity will be the largest residential project in the world. Not only will this project bring reliable solar energy to servicemen and women throughout the country, it will substantially reduce their energy bills," said Resch.
"This project draws a line in the sand against foreign sources of energy. The U.S. Department of Defense is the single largest consumer of electricity in the United States. By tapping into our abundant domestic solar energy to power base housing, the military is showing the rest of country that homeowners throughout the U.S. can help improve our energy independence by going solar. This project is wholly in line with the military's mission to provide peace and security to the country, as well as its goal to source 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025.
"The 'SolarStrong' project will create thousands of jobs and provide a new career opportunity for our veterans returning home from military service. This project exemplifies the American entrepreneurial spirit that has grown solar from a start up to being the fastest growing industry in the U.S."
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association(R) is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA is working to build a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to make solar a mainstream and significant energy source by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy.