U.S. Navy deploys largest federal solar system in the nation

November 11, 2002 |

Navy Region Southwest has installed a massive photovoltaic system comprised of two contiguous solar arrays that cover a half-mile long parking structure at Naval Base Coronado in San Diego. In addition to providing shade for parked cars, the system generates the equivalent energy during the day to power over 935 homes. It is the largest federal solar system in the nation.

“Installing solar photovoltaics at governmental agencies and private corporations is a sound, sensible way for us to use distributed energy resources to meet our renewable energy goals as well as reduce operating costs” noted Beth Shearer, director of the Federal Energy Management Program. “In addition, deploying these technologies assures our energy independence and national security.”

The 750 kW solar electric system -- which designed, manufactured and installed by PowerLight Corp., Berkeley, Calif. -- is expected to produce approximately 1,244,000 kWh per year, saving the Navy more than $228,000 in annual operating costs by avoiding purchases of expensive peak electricity.

This system is the latest renewable or distributed generation system deployed by Navy Region Southwest. Other installations include three solar electric systems totaling 130 kW, wind generating capacity of 675 kW on San Clemente Island, 120 kW of microturbine technology at Naval Base Coronado, as well as several fuel cell demonstration programs.

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