US Army completes installation of 4.465MW solar power system

25 January 2013 (Last Updated January 25th, 2013 03:50)

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has completed installation of a 4.465MW solar power system at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, US.

solar array

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has completed installation of a 4.465MW solar power system at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, US.

Developed as part of the energy savings performance contract (ESPC), awarded and managed by Army Engineering and Support Center, the system is designed to provide the army with guaranteed energy savings of 35,358MW annually, as well as lowering its energy consumption by 10%.

Huntsville Center Energy Division chief Michael Norton said the new system represented the service's largest solar project to date.

"ESPC projects provide energy efficient equipment resulting in a lower utility consumption. Lower utility consumption reduces the DOD utility bills and assists in meeting federal mandates," Norton said.

"ESPC projects provide energy efficient equipment resulting in a lower utility consumption. Lower utility consumption reduces the DOD utility bills and assists in meeting federal mandates."

The power generation system is owned, operated and maintained by a third-party contractor, Siemens Government Technologies, under an energy services agreement (ESA) with the army in return for a share of the generated savings.

Huntsville Center ESPC programme manager Will Irby said the ESPC concept was a first for the army and also lowered the project cost by $6.1m.

As well as energy savings contractor (ESCO) Siemens, the project was also supported by Texas Solar Power Company, which supported project construction, inverter manufacturer SatCon Technology, and Solaria, the solar modules and tracking systems supplier.

The project is owned by Bostonia Group through the ESA agreement, while construction of the $16.5m system began in July 2012 and was completed in December that year.


Image: An aerial view of the solar photovoltaic array at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, US. Photo: courtesy of Solaria.