News & Press
Project demonstrates public-private green energy partnership
April 12, 2012
Suntech Power Holdings, one of the world's largest producers of solar panels, recently installed 3.4 megawatts of solar panels at Edwards Air Force Base in Southern California, increasing the amount of renewable energy the U.S. military uses.
The California solar installation was designed, financed and installed by Borrego Solar, which is a leading national solar solutions provider. Edwards also received the solar array at no upfront cost, saving money on the installation fee, which some homeowners and business owners fear is an expensive part of putting in a solar installation.
"We're honored to support our country and its efforts to achieve energy independence," said Mike Starr, production manager at Suntech Arizona and a former U.S. Army non-commissioned officer.
The solar company provided 12,000 panels for the project, which began to generate power in February 2012 after being manufactured in Suntech's facility in Goodyear, Arizona. The solar panels will reduce the base's carbon footprint in addition to complying with procurement guidelines for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Buy American Act projects.
Borrego will sell the clean energy back to Edwards through a power purchase agreement. The clean energy that's sold to the military will be supplied at an economical and fixed rate to offset an average of 6 percent of the energy consumption across three facilities.
"This project was a big milestone for Borrego Solar and the military, as it demonstrates how public-private partnerships can succeed and provide the most effective means to drive large-scale solar energy systems on government property," said Mike Hall, CEO of Borrego Solar. "Looking ahead, we are excited to work with more military and federal facility managers to help them take full advantage of the financial benefits that come from using solar to generate clean sustainable energy, and local jobs."
The U.S. Department of the Army recently established the Energy Initiatives Task Force to oversee the army's goal of sourcing 25 percent of its energy from renewable energy sources by 2025.
The army also recently opened a high-tech green energy vehicle lab in Warren, Michigan, that stretches 30,000 square feet and is dedicated to cutting edge, alternative energy technology.
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