Charleston firm to build solar system for Marine Corps

Hannah Solar Government Services LLC is working with Hightower Construction Co. to build a renewable energy system at the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort under a $105,000 subcontract. (Photo/Cpl. Joshua Pettway, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort)
Hannah Solar Government Services LLC is working with Hightower Construction Co. to build a renewable energy system at the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort under a $105,000 subcontract. (Photo/Cpl. Joshua Pettway, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort)

By Andy Owens
aowens@scbiznews.com
Published July 17, 2012

An engineering and construction firm that relocated to Charleston last year will be designing and building a renewable energy system for a fitness center at the Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort.

Charleston-based Hightower Construction Co. picked Hannah Solar Government Services LLC for a $105,000 subcontract for the design and construction of a solar photovoltaic system for the U.S. Marine Corps.

Hightower is building a new physical fitness center at the Beaufort Air Station under a $12.8 million contract to be completed by January. In the second phase of the project, Hightower will tear down the old fitness center.

“They have an existing center now, and we’re building this one adjacent to it,” said Butch Burbage, one of the principals with Hightower Construction.

Hannah Solar Government Services moved its headquarters from Atlanta last August. A spokesperson said the company has a business relationship and works with Atlanta-based Hannah Solar, but the two firms are separate.

The veteran-owned company said the contract allows the company to hire additional staff and expand its office. Hannah Solar Government Services also is working on solar projects in Texas, Alabama and North Carolina.

The renewable energy project is expected to generate more than 34,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year for the Marine Corps in Beaufort. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that an average residential customer in South Carolina uses about 1,310 kilowatt hours of electricity per month.

“This solar energy project shows the continued commitment of the Department of Defense in leading the way in renewable energy for America,” said CEO Dave McNeil, a retired Army colonel and former Base Commander of Fort Dix, N.J.

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2007 requires the Department of Defense to obtain 25% of energy consumed by defense agencies from renewable sources by 2025. International consulting firm Acore said in a report this year that the military has moved beyond those broad initiatives and individual branches are implementing their own sustainability efforts.

Reach Andy Owens at 843-849-3142.

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