Calif. Naval Station Erects Solar System

SunPower completed the largest solar system in the US Navy, a 13.78 MW solar photovoltaic power system at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake (NAWS China Lake) in California. Using SunPower’s Buy American-compliant solar panels, the plant is generating the equivalent of more than 30 percent of China Lake’s annual energy load, helping to reduce costs by an estimated $13 million over the next 20 years.

Using a long-term energy procurement authority, the power plant is the first federal agency project to be financed through a 20-year term solar power purchase agreement (PPA), which requires no upfront capital or maintenance obligations from the Navy, matches conventional project financing terms for solar power facilities, and allows the Navy to secure electricity at up to 30 percent below the rate available through shorter duration 10-year PPAs.

An affiliate of MetLife purchased the system that SunPower designed, built and is operating and maintaining. NAWS China Lake is hosting the system, and buying electricity at prices currently below the retail utility rate.

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