SunPower has announced that the company has broken ground on a 13.78MW solar PV power system at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake (NAWS China Lake) in California, US. The plant is expected to create 140 jobs during construction and generate the equivalent of more than 30% of NAWS China Lake's annual energy load, helping to reduce costs by an estimated US$13 million over the next 20 years. The plant was financed through a solar 20 year PPA.
NAWS China Lake will host the system, and buy electricity at prices currently below the retail utility rate, which provides the Navy with a long-term hedge against rising power prices with no initial capital investment. SunPower will operate and maintain the plant when it is completed at the end of this year.
Howard Wenger, SunPower regional president said, “SunPower has more than a decade of experience and more than 50MW installed or under contract with the federal government. We are pleased to be a leading solar provider to the US government, delivering the industry's most efficient solar technology.”
The plant at NAWS China Lake will use the SunPower Oasis Power Plant product, a fully integrated, modular solar power block, engineered to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy utility-scale solar projects while optimizing land use. Each power block integrates the SunPower T0 Tracker with SunPower's high-efficiency, Buy American-compliant E20 series solar panels, pre-manufactured system cabling, the Oasis smart inverter and the Oasis operating system. SunPower Oasis also features the SunPower advanced Tracker Monitoring and Control System for wireless control of the power plant. The power block kits are shipped pre-assembled to the job site for rapid field installation, and offer the highest capacity factor and the most reliable long-term performance.