Navy Solar Farm, Image Info: 111022-N-OH262-322, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Oct. 22, 2011) Image Info: 111022-N-OH262-322, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Oct. 22, 2011)

A view of solar panels being installed at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The solar farm is being installed to provide electricity for the ongoing expansion of Denich Gym. All at the naval station’s Cooper Field sports complex. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Bill Mesta/Released)

So the Navy made another leap into renewable energy integration. Now with groundbreaking on a 118 acre solar farm in China Lake, California.

In addition, construction of the SunPower Corporation 13.78 megawatt solar photovoltaic power system happened. All at the Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake.

Also, SunPower using an Oasis Power Plant product. It’s a fully-integrated, modular solar block. All thereby consisting of 31,680 solar panels. All generating more than 30 percent of NAWS China Lake’s annual energy load.

The solar farm integration is made possible through a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA). It will allow the Navy to buy electricity below the retail utility rate. Therefore at reduced costs. Totaling an estimated $13 million over the next 20 years.

The PPA involves no initial out-of-pocket expenses for the Navy and will provide increased energy independence and reliable, emission-free solar power to NAWS China Lake beginning at the end of this year.

NAWS China Lake’s solar farm is representative of the Navy’s energy initiative, laid out by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus in 2009, which aspires to achieve 50 percent of the Navy’s shore-based energy requirements produced by alternative sources by the year 2020.

Under the 20-year federal solar PPA, SunPower will build, operate and maintain the solar power system that uses the company’s high-efficiency solar panels, and which it guarantees through a 25-year warranty. SunPower has worked with federal agencies since 1999 and has installed more than 25 megawatts of solar power systems at government facilities, including solar power plants at Navy installations in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and Coronado, Calif.

In conclusion, NAWS China Lake is located in the Western Mojave Desert region of California. The installation is the Navy’s largest single landholding. Thereby representing 85 percent of the Navy’s land for research, development, acquisition, testing and evaluation of weapons systems. So the two ranges and main site of NAWS China Lake cover more than 1.1 million acres. That’s an area larger than the state of Rhode Island.

Story Number: NNS120118-15, Release Date: 1/18/2012 8:52:00 PM A A A
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua Cassatt, Public Affairs Center San Diego

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