Navy Deploys Largest Federal Solar-Electric System in the U.S.

Navy Deploys Largest Federal Solar-Electric System in the U.S.

Navy Region Southwest has announced the deployment of the largest federal solar photovoltaic system in the nation.

This system is a unique solar electric carport at Naval Base Coronado in San Diego, which makes innovative use of existing parking space. The installation is comprised of two contiguous solar arrays, covering a half-mile long parking structure that serves U.S. Navy personnel. In addition to providing shade for parked cars, the system generates the equivalent energy during the day to power over 935 homes. This 750 kW solar electric system will reduce the demand on California's power grid, as well as improve air quality by avoiding thousands of tons of polluting nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide emissions.

"The deployment of solar power at Navy Region Southwest demonstrates the Navy's commitment to using energy management practices that reduce energy consumption and control costs," said Commander Pat Rios, NBC public works officer. "Using clean generation is very consistent with our base's mission of leveraging superior operational expertise and technologies."

"Solar power proved to be the ideal energy solution for Naval Base Coronado," noted Lieutenant Commander Wade Wilhelm, Navy Region Southwest Utilities Program Manager. "The photovoltaic system combines the environmental benefits of solar with the ability to provide on-site power that serves to reduce our vulnerability to disruptions of the power grid."

"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 was implemented as part of an Energy Savings Performance Contract project developed by NORESCO of Westborough, Mass. The photovoltaic system was designed, manufactured and installed by PowerLight Corporation of Berkeley, Calif. This photovoltaic system will produce approximately 1,244,000 kWh per year and is expected to save over $228,000 in annual operating costs by avoiding purchases of expensive peak electricity.

This energy project was made possible through the U.S. Department of Energy's Western Region Super ESPC, developed and executed by the Navy's ESPC team comprised of the Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center and the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Contracts Office.

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.

"Resource Efficiency Managers have been instrumental in developing energy and water saving projects, improving energy efficiency, and reducing energy costs at Navy Region Southwest," said Lieutenant Commander Wilhelm.