BARSTOW, Calif. (NNS) -- The first solar project to use special legislation for a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) broke ground May 14 with a ceremony at Marine Corps Logistic Base Barstow, Calif.
The special legislation is Section 2922a of U.S. Code Title 10 "Contracts for energy or fuel for military installations" which Congress enacted in July 1982.
"With no upfront capital investment required from the government, utilization of the PPA model and contracting authority 10 USC 2922a will set the precedent on how we will achieve and exceed our energy goals," said Julien Trinh, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest project manager for the project.
The 20-year power purchase agreement will guarantee electricity for the base up to 50 percent below the average rate for standard 10-year federal government PPAs and help achieve the Secretary of the Navy's energy goal to provide half the power at Department of Navy (DoN) shore installations from alternative energy sources by 2020.
SunDurance Energy LLC of Edison, N.J. will build a solar project at two locations on the base. The two solar power plants will generate approximately 2.7 million kWh annually using 4,452 solar panels. The electricity generated will power approximately 140 typical U.S. homes.
"This project, and utilization of 10 USC 2922a could be very well described as 'One small step for the USMC, one giant leap for the DoD,'" said Trinh.
A significant environmental benefit will come from the completed project in the form of renewable energy production offsetting the release of 18,000 tons of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. This offset is equivalent to the photosynthesis of carbon dioxide by 28,000 planted trees growing for ten years.
The project will also supply about 25 percent of the base's annual electricity requirements and save taxpayers an estimated $3.9 million in electricity costs over 20 years.
"This solar project is an important step toward our base goal of net zero power from the grid," said Col. Dan Ermer, Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow commanding officer. "It is vital for our country's military installations to be insulated from external power disruptions and to demonstrate leadership as stewards of our natural resources."
Electricity is scheduled for delivery by fall 2012.
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