NAVFAC Southwest Solar Carport Projects Save Energy and Money

Story Number: NNS080421-12Release Date: 4/21/2008 4:17:00 PM
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By Lee H. Saunders, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The commanding officers of Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest and Naval Base San Diego (NBSD) celebrated the completion of three solar carport projects with an April 14 ribbon-cutting ceremony.

NAVFAC Southwest Commanding Officer Capt. Steve Wirsching and NBSD Commanding Officer Capt. Dixon Smith cut the ribbon to inaugurate the completion of the latest solar carport project.

"Naval Base San Diego has three of the solar carport projects with a combined energy savings estimated at $1.8 million over 25 years," said Wirsching. "These carports will also move the base toward compliance with the Federal Energy Policy Act, known as EPACT 2005, and DoD mandates to increase renewable energy resources and reduce reliance on fossil fuels, thus reducing the Navy's reliance on foreign oil and improve sustainability of the installation in the event of an area wide power outage."

The three NBSD solar carport projects were part of a series of five projects costing $3.5 million that included Naval Bases Point Loma and Coronado, each getting an 80,000 kwh solar carport.

The five solar carport projects were built between September 2007 and March 2008 by Sigma Construction of Ventura, Calif. Independent Energy Solutions of Vista, Calif. was the design build subcontractor for the five projects.

"It was a great experience to be associated with this and other projects to 'Green Up' the Navy's power supply while at the same time improving Navy survivability, self reliance and redundancy," said Gary Simon, NAVFAC Southwest renewable energy project manager for the five solar carport projects.

Construction of the solar carports was at existing base parking lots. They are steel support structures with a minimum clearance of nine feet. The roofs for each project cover approximately 6,000 square feet and support 330 individual Sharp 208 volt poly-crystalline silicon modules that together create a 57.7kw rated array. Each array will produce about five hours of energy per day at approximately 92 percent efficiency. The 395 kwh generated from the five arrays will produce enough energy to power approximately 69 homes at today's average consumption.

"The new carports are owned and maintained by NAVFAC Southwest," said Simon. "The power created will replace power normally purchased from off base suppliers and will reduce the cost of power to the region and tenants at the bases over time."

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