Air Force Base Goes Solar in Arizona

SunEdison, a global provider of solar energy services, announced Tuesday that it was awarded a ground-mounted 14.5 megawatt (MW) solar service contract with Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (DMAFB) in Tucson, Arizona.

Construction will begin in 2011 and when ready, the solar farm will produce approximately 31.5 million kWh of energy annually and over 575 million kWh over twenty years. SunEdison says that would be enough energy to power over 53,000 homes for one year.

It is expected that once completed, the 14.5MW solar power plant will deliver 35% of DMAFB’s total base load of energy.

SunEdison will finance, design, construct, operate and maintain the approximately 130 acre ground-mounted solar deployment. The solar power company will also maintain a long-term ground lease agreement with DMAFB for the use of their land for the solar installation.

In return, DMAFB will purchase the energy produced from the solar power plant to offset their demand from the grid at long-term predictable energy pricing. There are no upfront costs required from DMAFB for the solar deployment.

“This project highlights not only the Air Force’s commitment to renewable energy but also Arizona’s commitment to renewable energy,” said Col. John A. Cherrey, 355th Fighter Wing commander. “Several years of industry and government teamwork was required to bring this renewable energy project to this point. The use of emission-free solar power to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, as well as long-term savings on electricity costs, is a great benefit to the base.”

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