SunPower Corp. has broken ground on a 10 MW solar photovoltaic system at the Redstone Arsenal U.S. Army post in Alabama, which is expected to create more than 200 jobs at peak of construction. With a newly added 1 MW energy storage system, the project is designed to strengthen energy security and resilience at Redstone Arsenal, supporting the Army’s efforts to reduce electricity costs at installations while also making them more energy independent, according to SunPower.
“This project reinforces the Army’s commitment to advancing adoption of reliable, cost-effective, home-grown renewable energy at Redstone Arsenal,” says Col. Thomas Holliday, Garrison Commander, Redstone Arsenal. “We’re continually looking for ways to grow our capability and reduce our cost to provide the nation with a more efficient defense.”
Developed by the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives, Redstone Arsenal’s Directorate of Public Works, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Huntsville Center’s Energy Division, the innovative project was financed by a power purchase agreement (PPA), allowing the Army to buy 100% of the power generated without having to pay for the power plant’s construction, maintenance and operation. The Army continues to collaborate with private-sector partners and utilities to build clean, alternative energy projects including onsite power generation, electricity storage, and energy control.
“Solar is cost-competitive with traditional energy sources today and is helping the U.S. military reduce operational costs,” says Nam Nguyen, SunPower executive vice president. “We commend Redstone Arsenal for managing its significant energy demand with abundant, renewable solar power. The high-performance solar and storage technology we are installing for the agency will substantially increase the value of energy produced by the solar plant over the long term.”
SunPower designed and is installing a SunPower Oasis Power Plant system at the site, which is a fully-integrated, modular solar power block engineered and built for compatibility with a future microgrid, further contributing to the overall energy security of the installation, the company claims.
SunPower notes it has designed and installed solar power systems at a number of U.S. military facilities, including more than 28 MW at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada and 13.78 MW at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California, as well as 28 MW currently under construction at Vandenberg Air Force Base.