Pentagon’s Largest Solar Project Yet Coming This Fall

Solar panel arrays at a construction site generate power for Fort Hunter in Liggett, Calif., March 12, 2013. A 155-acre site near the Army base at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., is expected to provide enough for 25 percent of the base’s needs as soon as this fall.

John Prettyman/USA

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Solar panel arrays at a construction site generate power for Fort Hunter in Liggett, Calif., March 12, 2013. A 155-acre site near the Army base at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., is expected to provide enough for 25 percent of the base’s needs as soon as this fall.

One-quarter of an Arizona Army base’s electrical needs could be met entirely by solar power. By Charles S. Clark

Construction is under way on the Defense Department’s largest solar project ever, the General Services Administration announced.

The 155-acre site near the Army base at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., will be outfitted with privately financed solar panels projected to provide more than 18-megawatts of clean power — enough for 25 percent of the base’s needs — as soon as this fall.

The project is the fruit of collaboration among GSA; the Army Energy Initiatives Task Force; Tucson Electric Power; and its developer, E.ON Climate & Renewables, GSA said.

“These kinds of projects are vital to building a sustainable infrastructure for our nation,” said GSA Regional Administrator Ruth Cox, in a news release on the April 25 ground-breaking ceremony. “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.”

Katherine Hammack, assistant Army secretary for installations, energy and environment, stressed that the Arizona project is just one among others in a roster of renewable energy projects in California, Hawaii, Maryland and New York. “The Army is partnering with the private sector for renewable energy in many ways,” she said. “The Fort Huachuca project is greater than the sum of all projects developed last year.”

The Army has a commitment to the president of deploying one gigawatt of renewable energy by 2025.

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