Massive Military Solar Project Commences in Hawaii
Construction has started on the first phase of a massive solar project by Forest City Military Communities and SolarCity® to provide solar electricity to 6,500 military family residences at Ohana Military Communities (OMC), which serves Navy Region Hawaii and Marine Corps Base Hawaii. The latest SolarStrong™ project is scoped for a planned 24 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity, which would make it the largest SolarCity has undertaken to date. SolarCity and Forest City have finished installing the first 700 kilowatts of solar capacity at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, and will soon initiate the first installations on Navy Region Hawaii. Representatives from Forest City and SolarCity will join in a traditional Hawaiian blessing today to celebrate the initiation of the project. SolarStrong, SolarCity’s five-year plan to build more than $1 billion in solar energy projects for U.S. military housing communities, is expected to create up to 300 MW of solar generation capacity that could provide energy to as many as 120,000 military housing units.
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Primarily financed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the new project at Marine Corps Base Hawaii and Navy Region Hawaii is expected to reduce Hawaii’s dependence on the imported oil it uses to produce the majority of its electricity. The projects will help the state make a significant advance toward its ambitious Clean Energy Initiative goal to use 70% clean energy, including 40% renewable energy, by 2030. The project will also help the Department of Defense, currently the largest energy consumer in the United States, make additional progress toward its goal to have 25% of its energy requirements met by renewable energy by 2025.
Forest City is a leading developer and manager of distinctive and diversified real estate projects, with properties in 26 states and the District of Columbia. The company currently manages military family housing units in eight states from Hawaii to South Carolina for the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force under the Armed Forces’ Public-Private Venture (PPV) Privatized Family Housing program.
“Our partnership with SolarCity on this renewable energy initiative is a strong positive for the military and for the environment. Sustainability is a corporate core value at Forest City,” said Thomas Henneberry, president of Forest City Military Communities. “This is our first involvement with the SolarStrong project and we’re hopeful to find opportunities to expand it to other portions of our portfolio.”
"Top Navy leaders support these initiatives because we are stronger, safer and less vulnerable when we embrace renewable energy and support sustainability -- in all of our communities,” said Rear Admiral Frank Ponds, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii. “We need to diversify our energy resources, and we need to build strong partnerships. For example, through the joint energy security initiative here in Hawaii we have a strong commitment to solar energy as well as other promising alternative and renewable energy sources and solutions. We are moving forward together at every opportunity to promote sustainability and security. This is the right thing to do for the Navy, for Hawaii and for the nation -- not only now, but also for generations to come."
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"This project not only benefits our military ohana, it reduces our energy costs which directly affect how our tax payer's dollar is spent. Additionally, it reduces our reliance on foreign oil, and helps contribute to Hawaii's goal to generate 40% clean energy from locally generated renewables by 2030," said Col. Brian Annichiarico, commanding officer, Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
“Project by project, our SolarStrong initiative is assisting the Department of Defense’s impressive effort to change the way our nation’s military consumes energy,” said SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive. “The road to the Department’s goal of 25% renewable energy by 2025 is being paved, in part, with solar panels by sustainable developers such as Forest City.”
“We are pleased to be able to help finance the most recent and largest planned SolarStrong project so far,” said Jonathan Plowe, head of New Energy & Infrastructure Solutions at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “Bank of America Merrill Lynch remains a leader in financing solar power, and is proud to work with SolarCity, Forest City and the U.S. military to promote the use of clean, renewable energy and create jobs for Americans, including veterans and military family members.”
Read more in Energy Digital: The Military Issue
In addition to SolarStrong, SolarCity is pursuing a veteran hiring initiative as part of its Workforce Development program. The company has hired more than 100 veterans this year in various positions within the company including IT, sales, managerial, administration, design and installation. The company has collaborated on hiring processes by partnering with several veteran programs across the country, including Veteran Affairs national offices, JPMorgan Chase & Co’s ‘100,000 Jobs Mission,’ Swords to Plowshares, The California National Guard, The California Conservation Corps and Veterans Green Jobs.
In addition to the Navy Region Hawaii and Marine Corps Base Hawaii projects announced today, there are additional SolarStrong projects underway at Fort Bliss and White Sands Missile Range in Texas, Hickam Community Housing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Los Angeles Air Force Base, and Peterson and Schriever Air Force Bases in Colorado. Each project was financed in part by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Carbon dioxide removal revenues worth £2bn a year by 2030
Carbon dioxide removal revenues could reach £2bn a year by 2030 in the UK with costs per megatonne totalling up to £400 million, according to the National Infrastructure Commission.
Engineered greenhouse gas removals will become "a major new infrastructure sector" in the coming decades - although costs are uncertain given removal technologies are in their infancy - and revenues could match that of the UK’s water sector by 2050. The Commission’s analysis suggests engineered removals technologies need to have capacity to remove five to ten megatonnes of carbon dioxide no later than 2030, and between 40 and 100 megatonnes by 2050.
The Commission states technologies fit into two categories: extracting carbon dioxide directly out of the air; and bioenergy with carbon capture technology – processing biomass to recapture carbon dioxide absorbed as the fuel grew. In both cases, the captured CO2 is then stored permanently out of the atmosphere, typically under the seabed.
The report sets out how the engineered removal and storage of carbon dioxide offers the most realistic way to mitigate the final slice of emissions expected to remain by the 2040s from sources that don’t currently have a decarbonisation solution, like aviation and agriculture.
It stresses that the potential of these technologies is “not an excuse to delay necessary action elsewhere” and cannot replace efforts to reduce emissions from sectors like road transport or power, where removals would be a more expensive alternative.
The critical role these technologies will play in meeting climate targets means government must rapidly kick start the sector so that it becomes viable by the 2030s, according to the report, which was commissioned by government in November 2020.
Early movement by the UK to develop the expertise and capacity in greenhouse gas removal technologies could create a comparative advantage, with the prospect of other countries needing to procure the knowledge and skills the UK develops.
The Commission recommends that government should support the development of this new sector in the short term with policies that drive delivery of these technologies and create demand through obligations on polluting industries, which will over time enable a competitive market to develop. Robust independent regulation must also be put in place from the start to help build public and investor confidence.
While the burden of these costs could be shared by different parts of industries required to pay for removals or in part shared with government, the report acknowledges that, over the longer term, the aim should be to have polluting sectors pay for removals they need to reach carbon targets.
Polluting industries are likely to pass a proportion of the costs onto consumers. While those with bigger household expenditures will pay more than those on lower incomes, the report underlines that government will need to identify ways of protecting vulnerable consumers and to decide where in relevant industry supply chains the costs should fall.
Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, Sir John Armitt, said taking steps to clean our air is something we’re going to have to get used to, just as we already manage our wastewater and household refuse.
"While engineered removals will not be everyone’s favourite device in the toolkit, they are there for the hardest jobs. And in the overall project of mitigating our impact on the planet for the sake of generations to come, we need every tool we can find," he said.
“But to get close to having the sector operating where and when we need it to, the government needs to get ahead of the game now. The adaptive approach to market building we recommend will create the best environment for emerging technologies to develop quickly and show their worth, avoiding the need for government to pick winners. We know from the dramatic fall in the cost of renewables that this approach works and we must apply the lessons learned to this novel, but necessary, technology.”
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and International Energy Agency estimate a global capacity for engineered removals of 2,000 to 16,000 megatonnes of carbon dioxide each year by 2050 will be needed in order to meet global reduction targets.
Yesterday Summit Carbon Solutions received "a strategic investment" from John Deere to advance a major CCUS project (click here). The project will accelerate decarbonisation efforts across the agriculture industry by enabling the production of low carbon ethanol, resulting in the production of more sustainable food, feed, and fuel. Summit Carbon Solutions has partnered with 31 biorefineries across the Midwest United States to capture and permanently sequester their CO2 emissions.
Cory Reed, President, Agriculture & Turf Division of John Deere, said: "Carbon neutral ethanol would have a positive impact on the environment and bolster the long-term sustainability of the agriculture industry. The work Summit Carbon Solutions is doing will be critical in delivering on these goals."
McKinsey highlights a number of CCUS methods which can drive CO2 to net zero:
- Today’s leader: Enhanced oil recovery Among CO2 uses by industry, enhanced oil recovery leads the field. It accounts for around 90 percent of all CO2 usage today
- Cementing in CO2 for the ages New processes could lock up CO2 permanently in concrete, “storing” CO2 in buildings, sidewalks, or anywhere else concrete is used
- Carbon neutral fuel for jets Technically, CO2 could be used to create virtually any type of fuel. Through a chemical reaction, CO2 captured from industry can be combined with hydrogen to create synthetic gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel
- Capturing CO2 from ambient air - anywhere Direct air capture (DAC) could push CO2 emissions into negative territory in a big way
- The biomass-energy cycle: CO2 neutral or even negative Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage relies on nature to remove CO2 from the atmosphere for use elsewhere