US Marines using solar thermal power at Camp Lejeune

The Marines are embracing solar thermal power at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Their entire base housing complex will have solar panels for hot water installed. Since there are about 900 houses on the compound at Camp Lejeune, this will make the Marine base one of the largest residential producers of solar thermal power.  Each house will have one panel installed, which will handle about 75% of each house’s hot water needs.  Total installation is expected to be complete by December.

Part of the funding for this project comes from 2009 stimulus money, which set aside money for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.  Actus Lend Lease, the real estate developer that is working with the military on this project, also negotiated a deal with FLS Energy, the company providing the panels.  FLS Energy is selling the panels to the base at a discount over its normal price.  The agreement calls for the Marines to repay FLS Energy over a 12 year period for the panels, and the overall cost of the panels is expected to be about 20% less than it would cost the Marines to buy the equivalent amount of electricity from the local grid.

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