Suniva wins Gitmo project contract

Suniva says it has won a module supply contract from the developer of a planned 700kW ground-mount solar array at the US Navy’s Guantanamo Bay base in southeastern Cuba.

It did not release financial terms of the deal for the OPTimus modules.

World Electric Supply, a division of Sonepar USA, says the facility will be the largest solar array to-date on the base and will provide electricity to the Navy Exchange Building.

“Suniva is proud that our solar modules will help transform this high-profile naval base into a clean energy producing facility,” says Matt Card, vice president of global sales and marketing at the metro Atlanta-based company.

The military base known as Gitmo has produced its own electricity since the 1960s, most of which has come from expensive diesel fuel imports. The new solar array will expand use of alternative energy and help align Guantanamo with the Navy’s goal of producing at least 50% of shore- based requirements from such sources.

The Navy (and other military services) has committed to procuring and producing 1GW of renewable energy at their permanent installations (and/or on 65,000sq km of military land opened up for development. It expects to reach this goal in 2020.

In 2005, the Navy invested $12m to erect four wind turbines capable of supplying about a quarter of the base's peak power needs.

The US government has leased the land for the base since 1903. The base is best known as a detention center for alleged al Qaeda and Taliban combatants.