A Sustainable Future: AF Housing goes Solar

  • Published
  • By Charlotte Singleton
  • AFCEC Public Affairs
More than 2,000 privatized homes across multiple Air Force installations will soon generate renewable energy.

Rooftop solar panels were recently installed at residential communities on Air Force installations across the United States. Combined, the homes will generate an estimated 7 megawatts of energy.

The homes are part of the Air Force Housing Privatization Program portfolio, which is centrally managed through the Air Force Civil Engineer Center. The Air Force established its privatized housing program after Congress passed legislation in 1996, giving the military authority to use private sector expertise and funding to eliminate inadequate housing and improve the quality of life for service members and their families.

AFCEC’s partnerships with private project owners allowing the Air Force to remain mission focused but still retain housing operation oversight. 

“AFCEC’s role in the project holds true to our mission of supporting thriving communities, ready installations and resilient energy,” said Robert Moriarty, AFCEC Installations Director.

In addition to diversifying energy sources, the program’s solar investments will eventually yield savings — money that goes directly back into the project to maintain housing communities, services and programs for Air Force families, said Moriarty.  

AFCEC HP program managers monitor all phases of the solar projects, to include serving as a mediator between bases, project owners and outside power suppliers to establish interconnection agreements, said Col. Michael Beach, AFCEC Installations Directorate’s Chief of Housing Division.

“We promote, evaluate and approve any renewable energy, energy conservation or energy efficiency projects our project owners want to pursue,” Beach said. “Any project that reduces utility costs, improves sustainability and protects the environment is a project worth supporting.”

Beach credits AFCEC’s business-minded approach to achieve two key Air Force initiatives through the HP program: enhancing installation resiliency through energy assurance and providing quality housing options for Airmen and their families, today and in the future. 

“We review proposals for economic compatibility and feasibility,” Beach said. “This ensures financial decisions make sense, not only today but throughout the life of the solar panels and the housing agreement.” 

Air Force-wide, the housing division is supporting 33 MW of energy being produced at nine bases.  The division recently approved two more solar projects adding another 5 MW to the portfolio and another 13 MW proposed across 11 bases.