Oct 22, 2012
NAVAL AIR WEAPONS STATION, CHINA LAKE, Calif. - The Navy flipped the switch on its newest 13.78-megawatt photovoltaic solar power plant here Oct. 19.
The new solar plant is estimated to provide more than 30 percent of the station's energy demand and save about $13 million over a 20-year period. The project also supports the Navy’s goal to generate half the power consumed by shore installations from alternative energy sources by 2020.
Acting Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations & Environment) Roger Natsuhara; Navy Region Southwest Commander Rear Adm. Dixon Smith; SunPower Inc. Federal Director Karen Butterfield, and other officials attended the ceremony.
“When you decrease the energy footprint of the base, there is value there for the enterprise cost savings, and the key for WD is to do it in a way that is compatible with the mission, and the photovoltaic is [compatible],” said NAWCWD Acting Vice Commander Capt. Michael L. Peoples. “That is why we like the photovoltaic answer.”
As the first photovoltaic solar power plant financed by a 20-year Federal Solar Power Purchase Agreement using the 10 USC 2922a authority, the project required no initial out-of-pocket expenses by the government and will deliver increased energy independence for the Navy.
NAWCWD Public Affairs