Today, Corvias and Fort Riley hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the first milestone of the Fort Riley solar program. The solar program was developed along with partner, Onyx Renewable Partners L.P. The project is owned by Onyx, along with tax equity investors RBC Capital Markets and USAA. Under the program, about 1,260 homes at Fort Riley will receive solar panels this year, at no cost to the military.
In the Warner-Peterson neighborhood, 177 homes have been outfitted with solar panels as the first phase of the program. The solar work on Fort Riley provides energy-efficient homes in support of the Department of Defense Privatized Housing Solar Challenge initiative. The goal is for rate stabilization and increased energy security to the community, while eliminating approximately 32,000 tons of carbon emissions each year.
“This milestone marks a significant step in achievement of Fort Riley’s energy conservation goals,” said Col. John D. Lawrence, Fort Riley garrison commander. “Through this large-scale generation of solar energy, the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley are demonstrating the commitment to energy security and sustainability. Army readiness is the true reason for this effort.”
The event included representatives from Corvias, Onyx, RBC Capital Markets, USAA, Power Factor and Fort Riley. There were speeches from Jim Champagne, partnership liaison, Corvias; Ja Kao, president, Onyx; Matt West, chief construction officer, Onyx Construction; and Col. Lawrence, Fort Riley garrison commander. The ribbon was cut by Lawrence and representatives from Corvias, Onyx, RBC Capital Markets, USAA and Power Factor. Families from the Warner-Peterson neighborhood, along with the Corvias community team, also attended.
Construction on the project began in February 2018 with Onyx Construction projected to install solar power on approximately 1,260 homes throughout the communities on post. Thirty-seven percent of annual electricity consumption is projected to be offset and 14,000 megawatt hours generated in the first year alone. This is equivalent to taking 2,736 cars off the road or planting 14,510 acres of forest. This is the largest solar program installed to date in the state of Kansas.
“This solar initiative is an extension of our commitment to creating and implementing complex energy solutions for our partners in helping them achieve their goals,” Champagne said. “It’s core to who we are and the value we hold in improving the communities in which we serve.”
Corvias’ portfolio-based solar program across partner military installations will play a large part in meeting the DoD’s goals to:
- Reduce emissions by 26 percent by 2025;
- Increase the use of renewable energy to the level of 20 percent by 2030;
- Install 300 megawatts of renewable energy across federally subsidized housing by 2020; and
- Double energy productivity by 2030.
Key to this initiative is 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. Power Factor, a subcontractor working on the Fort Riley solar project, has actively hired veterans through USO Pathfinder and similar programs; there are currently 13 military veterans working on-site, some of whom were stationed at Fort Riley.
”We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Corvias and delighted to own this project alongside our tax equity investors, RBC Capital Markets and USAA,” Kao said.
Onyx Construction is the general contractor overseeing the solar installation. Power Factor, one of the subcontractors, has worked with Onyx Construction and Corvias to complete the rooftop and ground- mount solar projects at Fort Meade and Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. Onyx Construction has overseen Corvias solar projects at Fort Meade and Aberdeen Proving Ground, as well as at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
In addition to this solar project, Corvias continues to improve the overall housing footprint at Fort Riley through demolition and construction activity. In 2017, 253 units in the Warner-Peterson neighborhood were demolished or donated, through Operation Walking Shield, to residents of the Kickapoo Nation. An additional 335 units in the Colyer Manor neighborhood were placed offline for demolition and are currently vacant pending demolition this year. Through these actions, Corvias continues to fulfill its commitment of service to the Army.
Media inquiries contact: Kelly Douglas, Corvias, firstname.lastname@example.org