Military Base Adds Second Large Solar Plant

July 29, 2014 By Karen Henry

NellisAFB-energy-manageThe US Air Force has signed a lease with NV Energy, paving the way for SunPower Corporation to build a 19-MW solar photovoltaic power system at Nellis AFB.

This will be the second solar power system SunPower has built at Nellis AFB. It completed a 14-MW system at the base in 2007, which at the time was was the largest solar PV plant in the United States.

NV Energy will construct, own, maintain and operate the array. All power from the PV array will flow through the installation, and power not used by the base will go to the grid.

Nellis AFB will purchase power at the existing NV Energy tariff rate under the utility contract that is already in place, and NV Energy will provide a secondary substation and a transmission line as an in-kind consideration to the government for the lease.

Construction is contingent on Nevada’s Public Utilities Commission approving the contract. Once complete, renewable energy from both solar arrays could provide 42 percent of the energy needed to power the base.

The project is a combined effort by Nellis AFB officials, Air Combat Command and the Air Force Civil Engineer Center.

Based on data from the US Environmental Protection Agency, the new plant will offset the annual production of almost 27,000 tons of carbon dioxide emission.

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