By Justin Puik

Our nation's military has the bravest men and women who step up to serve our country to the fullest extent of their ability. Coming from a military family, I know that these people are the same as any civilian. They care about how their child is doing in class, help friends when they are struggling, and contemplate what the future holds. What sets them apart is their courage to stand tall when their country calls for their help. It is a great privilege to support these soldiers in their duties, and thanks to a recent turnaround in how energy is supplied to our troops, solar has played a major part in making the military's job that much easier, safer, and more cost-efficient. Thanks to Trinity Solar for providing us with some vital information on how solar energy assists our military.


Flags to fly at half staff today for United States Army Sergeant Gollnitz
Markus Leiminger, Getty Images

The Solar Energy Industries Association, or SEIA, has released their first ever report on solar and the military. The report breaks down just how much solar is powering our armed forces, and the numbers are outstanding. The Army, Navy and Air Force have collectively installed over 130 megawatts of solar in just the U.S. alone. Solar consists of over half of the planned renewable energy installations on military bases from now until 2017. This does not even start to include the numerous battlefield solar installations that have helped cut down on costly fuel resupply convoys.

Our home state of New Jersey is one of the top three states in the country for solar, and you can bet our military bases have not been left out of this big solar wave. Fort Dix currently is in the process of having a 12.272 MW project – the largest installation of its kind - installed on hundreds of housing units across the base. What does 12.272 MW mean to you and me? 13,685,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity will be produced by the solar panels each year – that’s equivalent to removing the emissions of 1,850 passenger vehicles or planting 2,012 acres of pine trees annually! This massive installation is a part of an effort to ensure our troops have clean, renewable and affordable energy. This energy will power the homes for the many military families that live and work there.

This comes on the heels of the Military Giveback Program, where they gave approximately 400 new solar systems to returning veterans, as well as sponsoring the Everyday Heroes concert in 2012, in which all ticket sales went towards charities such as Wounded Warriors.

The military knows that solar goes hand-in-hand with cutting costs and building a sustainable tomorrow. In a world with fluctuating energy costs neither you nor the military should be forced to ride that roller coaster. Green, renewable energy, locked-in rates, and a reduced dependence on foreign oil, solar is the right energy solution for our future. Thanks to Trinity Solar for providing us with the above information and if you'd to learn more about them, visit their website