VA Solar Project


The Solar PV (Photovoltaic) Project at the Veterans Administration’s Medical Center in Las Vegas just passed the 50% completion stage. HICAPS is the design/build general contractor  for this $20 million project, which will ultimately provide 4.3 megawatts of power to the facility. This REC Solar design is providing solar panels on carports, a shade structure over the medical center’s water tanks, and an eight-acre solar feild at the southeast corner of the campus.

The project’s design/build process accommodated numerous customer requests. The original plan distributed carports in all the parking lots. The customer asked HI CAPS to maximize carport structures in the patient parking and place any remaining carports in the staff parking. This request was taken into consideration and the design was modified to accommodate the VA’s focus on customer service.

The construction is being conducted in phases to minimize disruption to the patients and staff. The first phase included the
construction of a 200-space temporary parking lot, which is being used as swing space parking. This swing space parking allows HICAPS to occupy portions of the existing parking lots to construct carports. HICAPS is finishing up the last section of carports in patient parking and will soon move to the staff parking lots. Once all the carports are constructed, HICAPS will make another pass through the parking lots to install the solar panels on top of the structures.

At the eight-acre ground mount field, the racking is in place, solar panels are installed and wiring of the system is taking place. During construction of this area, HICAPS encountered tough soil conditions to include caliche. Caliche is a layer of soil in which the soil particles have been cemented together by lime (calcium carbonate, CaCO3).

These conditions required that each post in the eight-acre field be drilled. HICAPS is happy to report that this project is within budget and on schedule for an October 2016 completion.