DOD Solar Plant Saves $500,000 Annually

A 16.4 MW photovoltaic solar power plant has been completed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base near Tucson, Arizona. The plant is the largest solar energy facility at any US Department of Defense installation and is expected to reduce the Air Force’s utility costs by $500,000 annually for the next 25 years.

The project became a reality thanks to a public/private alliance between Davis-Monthan AFB, SunEdison, The North American Development Bank (NADB), MIC Solar Energy Holdings, Chevron Energy Solutions and local officials. MIC Solar Energy Holdings took ownership of the project. The SunEdison Renewable Operation Center  will manage plant operations through a contract with MIC Solar Energy Holdings.

The plant, which is located on 170 acres, is designed to provide 35 percent of the base’s electricity requirements. The plant utilizes SunEdison Silvantis Solar Photovoltaic Modules.

In the past, Davis-Monthan has worked with Tuscon Electric Power’s on-and-off energy efficiency programs. For electricity alone, Davis-Monthan pays more than $6 million annually to TEP (TEP supplies electricity and the base operates its own distribution system).

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