Edwards Air Force Base Begins Solar Panel Installation Project

Edwards Air Force Base solar panels installation PV power
Contractors install solar panels in the Tamarisk Plains neighborhood on Edwards Air Force Base. Credit: US Air Force / Kenji Thuloweit

A project to install solar panels on 368 military family homes on Edwards Air Force Base in California started this month. The collaboration between the 412th Civil Engineer Group and Corvias, a development, construction and property management firm that manages the homes at the base, is part of a larger effort to meet Department of Defense goals around grid resiliency, according to the 412th Test Wing Public Affairs office.

Corvias, which is footing the costs to install the rooftop solar, expects to have to purchase less electrical power from the grid as a result. “Over the long term, solar panels will reduce total energy costs and will increase the amount of funds available to the Corvias and Air Force partnership for reinvestment into the homes and amenities on base,” Corvias business director Josh Crawford said in a press release.

The planning and design process for the project involved assistance from the 412th Civil Engineer Group’s energy management team, which served also as a liaison with the local electric power utility, according to the 412th Test Wing Public Affairs office. Ultimately the Civil Engineer Group and Corvias reached an interconnectivity agreement with the utility for more than 3 megawatts of electrical power, which officials from the CEG say is about 80% of the power the housing on the base uses annually.

Edward Air Force Base has ongoing work to reduce the use of energy and natural resources, including water. They’re not alone, either. Earlier this year, the Air Force collaborated with Honeywell on a facility modernization project at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City expected to lower energy consumption by 23% and save around $20 million. The Air Force Research Laboratory also began designing a renewable energy microgrid laboratory in Hawaii. And in April, the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Advanced Power Technology Office announced R&D of deployable energy systems.

The 412th Test Wing Public Affairs office indicated that the rooftop solar installation project at Edwards Air Force Base should be completed by next spring.

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