The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

7,000 MW of Solar Energy Potential on California Military Bases

A recent Department of Defense (DoD) study found huge potential for solar deployment on military bases in California. Responding to a Congressional request, the DoD spent a year evaluating the potential for affordable solar energy on military bases in California and Nevada. Although 96 percent of the land on the bases was deemed incompatible with solar, the DoD identified 25,000 acres that are "suitable" and 100,000 acres that are "likely" or "questionably" suitable for solar.

If solar were deployed on all the suitable land and 25 percent of the likely suitable land, seven thousand (7,000) megawatts (MW) of energy could be generated — equivalent to the output of seven nuclear power plants and 30 times the energy consumed by the bases today!

The study made an in-depth review of seven DoD installations in California’s Mojave and Colorado deserts: Fort Irwin, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, the Marine Corps’ Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range, Edwards Airport Base, Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms and Naval Air Facility El Centro. It also reviewed the potential for solar at two Air Force bases in Nevada, Creech and Nellis. It excluded locations based on conflict with the base’s core mission and land needs, the presence of cultural and biological resources, and other conflicts as well as reviewing the technical feasibility of six different types of solar technology.

As important as the identification of these locations is, the study also concludes private developers could tap the solar potential of these locations with no capital investment from DoD. Given the tax incentives and abundant solar resources, these sites provide a strong rate of return for investors. What’s more — the federal government could get up to $100 million a year in revenue in rental payments, reduced cost power, and in-kind considerations from these developments.

And even if all 7,000 MW couldn’t be generated and sent back to the grid, solar development on less than half of the identified lands would be sufficient to meet the DoD’s stated goal of 25 percent of facility energy supplied by renewable energy by 2025. It also takes the DoD one further step toward its goal of immunizing itself from threats to the electricity grid.

Energy security, affordable solar power and a net money maker for the federal government… Why isn’t this happening already?

This article was originally published on Applied Materials and was republished with permission.

Untitled Document

Get All the Renewable Energy World News Delivered to Your Inbox - FREE!

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World Magazine and our award-winning e-Newsletter to stay up to date on current news and industry trends.

 Subscribe Now


US Senate Democrats Unveil Energy Bill That Restores PTC and Extends ITC

Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg Senate Democrats unveiled a bill that would provide more tax credits for renewable energy while killing some tax ince...

US, China Solar PV Players Team Up, Invest $100MM in Chile, Uruguay and Japan

Andrew Burger Private equity infrastructure specialist Hudson Clean Energy Partners and Hong Kong-based independent power producer ...

CEO Gilles: Challenge in Geothermal is to 'Level Playing Field' with Wind, Solar

Jennifer Delony The current challenge for the geothermal energy industry is what U.S. Geothermal CEO Dennis Gilles calls “leveling th...

NRG Energy to Form Renewable Unit, Sell Wind Assets to Yieldco

Mark Chediak and Matthew Monks, Bloomberg NRG Energy Inc., the worst-performing member of the S&P 500 Utilities Index this year, said it will form a renewa...


Array Technologies Finalizes Shipments to E.ON’s Maricopa West Solar Project

Array Technologies, Inc. (ATI) has completed DuraTrack® HZ shipments to the 20 MW (ac) ...

B.C. Energy Minister to provide keynote at renewables for mines summit.

BC Minister of Energy and Mines to address the challenges of providing alternative powe...

Mining leaders seek renewables solutions at Toronto Summit

The global mining sector is facing a tough business environment with low commodity pric...

American Renewable Energy Institute Gears Up for 12th Annual Summit

"Racing Climate Change: Green Bridge with China, The Road to Paris” is the theme of th...


New Mexico Attracts Jobs and Revenues with Renewable Energy Tax Credit

New Mexico has abundant fossil fuel resources: in 2013, it ranked sixth in the nation for crude oil production, seven...

The Vice President Stole My Show (Not Really)

When I finished my Solar Power International (SPI) panel discussing what future opportunities the panelists saw in so...

The Value Of The Building

If you’re selling efficiency solutions in the built environment, you may find yourself being asked by your pros...

Sewage provides energy through processing

Many nations are investing in new technology to turn sewage waste into usable energy. Japan has recently revised its ...


Cathy is responsible for crafting and articulating Applied’s energy policy strategy for energy efficiency solutions, energy generation and energy storage, all of which Applied is accelerating with its nanomanufacturing expertise. She also leads Ap...


Volume 18, Issue 4


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon



Successfully Integrating Solar: A Proactive Approach

•      What does the increasing solar penetrati...

Canadian Solar Inverters Webinar

Canadian Solar is proud to be hosting two free webinars in October! The ...

JuiceBox Energy Certified Installer Class

JuiceBox Energy is rapidly building out its national certified installer...


How To Speak, How To Listen

As sales professionals, effective communication is paramount to our succ...

Get In The Habit

We all develop habits throughout our lives. Sometimes they’re bene...

Becoming An Efficiency Sales Professional

In order to become a sales professional, you must first realize that: E...


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now