DOD Begins Largest Ever Solar Installation

Joanna Schroeder

The U.S. Department of Defense has broken ground on the military’s largest solar installation ever located at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. The 155-acre project will exceed 18 MW of clean electricity and provide 25 percent of the military base’s power.

“These kinds of projects are vital to building a sustainable infrastructure for our nation,” said Ruth Cox, GSA Regional Administrator. “It is important for the federal government to lead by example in reducing our carbon footprint. This project serves as a model for innovative partnering between the government and private industry while also easing our impact on the environment.”

Groundbreaking of the Fort Huachuca Solar ArrayThe project is a collaboration between U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), the Army Energy Initiatives Task Force, Fort Huachuca, TEP and its developer E.ON Climate & Renewables. The deal was struck using a GSA area wide public utility contract, which allows federal agencies to get the utility services they need to serve the American people. Under the agreement, TEP will fund, own, maintain and operate the project, and contract with E.ON for the design, engineering, procurement and construction.

“The Army is partnering with the private sector for renewable energy in many ways,” said Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment added. “The Fort Huachuca project is greater than the sum of all projects developed last year—quite an accomplishment!”

Beyond providing Fort Huachuca electricity options and reducing stress on the local electricity grid, the project promotes the U.S. Army’s energy security objectives. The base will now have the ability to “island” and run electric power completely off the grid using its solar power source when needed.

“We’re very proud to provide Fort Huachuca with a cost-effective solar power resource that will contribute to the base’s long-term energy security,” added David Hutchens, President and Chief Operating Officer of Tucson Electric Power (TEP), Fort Huachuca’s electric provider. “This new, productive partnership will benefit our customers while helping both the base and TEP make significant progress toward our respective renewable energy goals.”

Microgrid, military, Renewable Energy, Solar