This article was previously posted (January 2008) on RenewableEnergyAccess.com, and was found again on fmlink.com in case anyone was looking for it.
January 4, 2008—North America’s largest solar photovoltaic system has been completed at Nellis Air Force Base, according to the public-private partnership that built it: The US Air Force, MMA Renewable Ventures (a subsidiary of Municipal Mortgage & Equity), SunPower Corporation, and Nevada Power Company.
Located on 140 acres of land at the western edge of the base, the PV system comprises 72,000 solar panels, 200 watts each. The 14-megawatt Nellis solar energy system is designed to generate more than 30 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean electricity annually and supply approximately 25 percent of the total power used at the base, where 12,000 people live and work.
SunPower Corporation designed and built the power plant using solar panels mounted on a single- axis tracking system that follows the sun throughout the day, reportedly producing up to 30% more electricity than typical fixed-position solar panels.
MMA Renewable Ventures financed the plant and will operate it, selling the power to Nellis Air Force Base at a guaranteed fixed rate for the next 20 years. Nevada Power Company is also supporting the project by buying all the Renewable Energy Credits generated by the solar array, thereby helping the utility to meet its renewable energy requirements.
Nevada Governor Gibbons said, “The best way to secure a healthy and prosperous economy is to develop our affordable, reliable local resources. With these 14 megawatts, Nellis Air Force Base is leading the country in solar energy deployment, a move that is good for the environment and our nation’s energy security alike.”