SunPower to start construction on 10MW photovoltaic solar power plant at US Army post

SunPower to start construction on 10MW photovoltaic solar power plant at US Army post

SunPowerSunPower has announced that it expects to begin construction on a 10-megawatt (DC) photovoltaic solar power plant this month for the Redstone Arsenal U.S. Army post in Alabama.The project is that is expected to generate up to 18,000 megawatt hours per year.

SunPower is delivering the energy from the plant under a power purchase agreement, allowing the Army to buy 100 percent of the power generated by the plant and avoid the costs of power plant construction, maintenance and operation.

This represents a continuation of the Army’s deployment of renewable energy at installations across the country.  It is symbolic of the changing dynamics of energy produced in the United States, especially in the Southeast,” said Richard Kidd, deputy assistant secretary of the Army (Energy and Sustainability).  “The project substantially increases the amount of installed solar power in Alabama at no additional cost to consumers.  It is also testament to what the Army can accomplish by working with industry stakeholders such as SunPower, local officials, and other partners such as the U.S Army Corps of Engineers and Redstone Arsenal.”

Solar is cost-competitive with traditional energy sources today, and is helping the U.S. military reduce operational costs,” said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, business units. “We commend Redstone Arsenal for managing its significant energy demand by relying on abundant, renewable solar power. The high performance SunPower technology we are installing for the agency will maximize energy production over the long term.”

This solar power project, is the first power purchase agreement project solicited through a renewable and alternative energy Multiple Award Task Order Contract (MATOC) awarded by Huntsville Center. It will involve a 27-year Renewable Energy Services Agreement and lease with SunPower, which has designed the project, and will construct, operate and maintain it.

Under the power purchase agreement all electricity generated by the plant will be purchased at a cost equal to or less than Redstone Arsenal’s current and projected utility rates. The solar system is also being designed as micro-grid ready so it may be connected to a future micro-grid and thereby contribute to the overall energy security of the installation.

SunPower designed and is installing a SunPower Oasis Power Plant system at the site. The Oasis system is a fully-integrated, modular solar power block that is engineered for rapid and cost-effective deployment of utility-scale solar projects while optimizing land use. The technology includes robotic solar panel cleaning capability that uses 75 percent less water than traditional cleaning methods and can help improve system performance by up to 15 percent.

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