Solar Power Helps Veterans in Arkansas and Rest of U.S.


We don’t get a lot of solar news from Arkansas, but we do hear a lot about the U.S. military’s enthusiastic solar adoption. Today the two came together with yet another example of how solar is helping veterans — this time, in Arkansas.

It came in the form of an announcement from solar provider Meridian Solar. The company said it has partnered with DV & Associates, a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Business, to develop and construct a 322 kW solar PV system at the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks (VHSO) in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

We’ve written about this one before. That was to report on the Suniva Buy America–compliant panels being used for the installation, which seems fitting for a veteran’s facility. Now there’s more to tell — and we always like to highlight the benefits of solar for our returning military.

The installation is made up of three solar carports with 1320 solar modules, which will provide shading to 102 parking spaces for veterans receiving services. Meridian Solar and DV & Associates were responsible for the design, engineering, construction, and project management of the carport system.

While the installation is the first of its kind on the VHSO campus, the Department of Veterans Affairs is no stranger to solar energy. The 322 kW solar carport system will join a long list of solar installations across the country on other VA hospitals and other facilities.

The VHSO in Fayetteville is contributing to a Department of Veterans Affairs goal to increase renewable energy consumption to 20% by 2020. The solar carport will save the VHSO campus an estimated 440,000 kWh each year. This energy production is equivalent to preventing to 570,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emission or planting 10,000 trees.

And for the veterans, the savings will translate into more of the assistance and care they need.

Meridian Solar’s President and Founder, Andrew McCalla, said in a statement, “We are proud to have worked with DV & Associates and the VHSO in Fayetteville. Through the implementation of distributed generation, a technology that offsets utility cost obligations, we are freeing up capital for the service unit’s core mission of helping veterans receive the best healthcare possible.”