Project Focus: SunPower racks up another U.S. Air Force base project

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Having built a large-scale PV power plant for the U.S. Air Force at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, SunPower is to build a 15MW plant at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona. Using SunPower modules and tracking systems, the project is set to start construction in January, 2011 with completion in the summer. Arizona Public Service (APS) will own the system and sell electricity to Luke Air Force Base under a long-term agreement.

“Installed on 101 acres of underutilized land, this system will generate the equivalent of 50 percent of the annual energy requirements for Luke Air Force Base,” noted Air Force Lt. Col. John Thomas, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron commander at Luke. “Benefits of the project to the American taxpayers include no initial out-of-pocket expenses to the Air Force, significant long-term savings on electricity costs, and the increased energy independence associated with using reliable, emission-free solar power.”

“As a result of our previous experience working with the U.S. Air Force at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, as well as with other government agencies such as the General Services Administration and the U.S. Navy, SunPower has developed federal procurement capabilities that help agencies procure reliable, high performance solar systems utilizing a variety of mechanisms,” said Karen Butterfield, SunPower’s director of federal accounts.

The system will generate the equivalent energy required for 3,750 Arizona homes, avoiding more than 19,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, according the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates.

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