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Air Force Base Installing 15 MW of Solar

Even though the campaign to put solar on the white house so far hasn't made much headway, that doesn't mean that the U.S. government is not interested in solar. This was evidenced this week with the Arizona Public Service Co (APS) announcement that it is developing a 15-MW solar power plant at Luke Air Force base in Arizona.

According to the announcement APS will own and operate a new 15-MW PV power plant to be built at the base in Glendale, Arizona. SunPower Corp. will design and construct the solar plant that expected to come online in summer 2011. It will be the largest solar installation on U.S. government property, said APS.

Steps including environmental assessments, permitting and site preparation must be completed first if construction is to begin on time.  If all goes according to plan, however, the companies say that they will start building the plant in January 2011.

The enormous 100-acre plant is going to be built on underutilized land on the base. A single-axis tracking system will be installed, which will allow the panels to follow the sun across the sky, capturing 25 percent more energy than if the panels were stationary, according to the company.

This is the second solar project collaboration for APS and Luke Air Force Base. In 2006, APS provided $1.5 million in incentives to reduce the cost of integrating a 375-kilowatt solar system into the Base Exchange's new roof. 

 

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