US Army advances PV project

The US Army on 25 April will break ground for construction of a solar PV plant that will supply about 25% of the electricity requirements of Fort Huachuca, located in southeast Arizona.

Tucson Electric Power (TEP) will own, operate and maintain the facility. It has a design of more than 18MW although a final decision on capacity has not been made, Joseph Barrios, a TEP spokesman, tells Recharge.

"This will be the largest solar array in the department of defense on a military installation,” says Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment.  

The project is a joint effort between the US Army Energy Initiatives Task Force (EITF), Fort Huachuca, The General Services Administration (GSA), TEP and developer E.ON Climate and Renewables.

EITF serves as the central management office for partnering with Army installations to implement cost-effective, large-scale, renewable energy projects. GSA is an US government independent agency to help manage and support he basic functioning of federal agencies.

“Energy is an installation priority,” says Fort Huachuca’s commanding general, Major Gen. Robert Ashley. “The project goes beyond the megawatts produced. It reflects our continued commitment to southern Arizona and energy security. The project will provide reliable access to electricity for daily operations and missions moving forward.”

The project also promotes the Army’s energy security objectives.

The Army has committed to procuring and producing 1GW of renewable energy at their permanent installations (and/or on 65,000sq km of military land opened for development).