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Published on August 1st, 2009 | by Ariel Schwartz

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Army Going Solar With 500 MW of Solar Power in Mojave Desert

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August 1st, 2009 by  

The Army knows that extensive alternative energy installations are the best way to ensure continuous, reliable electricity production. That’s why the military organization is building the Department of Defense’s largest ever solar project at the Fort Irwin Base in California’s Mojave Desert.

Clark Energy Group and Acciona Solar Power are collaborating on the project, which will use 14,000 acres of land to develop at least 500 MW of solar power by 2022. The $2 billion PV and solar concentrator installation will ultimately produce 1,250 gigawatt hours per year to the base–enough to power over 100,000 homes. As part of the deal, the Army will lease land to Clark and Acciona for the project. In return, the companies will pay with services like paving airstrips and building roads.

This isn’t the military’s first foray into renewable energy. The Army is spending over $1 billion on other renewable energy projects. It also began calculating and reporting its carbon footprint earlier this year.

[Via Greentech Media]

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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.



  • Pingback: How Fort Irwin Just Signed The Largest Solar Farm in Dept of Defense History : CleanTechnica

  • cdczr

    Solar if definitely the way to go these days. It also seems to be what we need more of for the future.Does anyone know how much the average price per kw a power company will pay on a PPA from a 50 mw solar plant?

  • cdczr

    Solar if definitely the way to go these days. It also seems to be what we need more of for the future.Does anyone know how much the average price per kw a power company will pay on a PPA from a 50 mw solar plant?

  • Dave

    I totally agree, Chrisp. There should be solar panels on every business building, house,car, and piece of land that has no other use in a sunny area. We should not be dependent on foreign oil, but that’s the catch isn’t it. They don’t want us to be independent. They would lose too much money. We have to do this ourselves. If we wait for the government to act, it will be too late.

  • Dave

    I totally agree, Chrisp. There should be solar panels on every business building, house,car, and piece of land that has no other use in a sunny area. We should not be dependent on foreign oil, but that’s the catch isn’t it. They don’t want us to be independent. They would lose too much money. We have to do this ourselves. If we wait for the government to act, it will be too late.

  • chrisp

    Why does it take five soldiers to install one solar panel? Such an efficient government we have.

    Maybe now if the Army goes Solar they won’t need as much fuel for the war, which is less money in the enemy’s pocket, so they can’t purchase as many weapons.

    Personally I think we need to get panels on every house in America, power our cars and wide screens with the energy and stop funding both sides of the war.

  • chrisp

    Why does it take five soldiers to install one solar panel? Such an efficient government we have.

    Maybe now if the Army goes Solar they won’t need as much fuel for the war, which is less money in the enemy’s pocket, so they can’t purchase as many weapons.

    Personally I think we need to get panels on every house in America, power our cars and wide screens with the energy and stop funding both sides of the war.

  • Bruce

    Is the Army’s carbon footprint calculation public information?

    Recently I saw a TV show about the C5A transport and was astounded by the amount of fuel it used in a single mission. It made me wonder how much it was contributing to greenhouse gases and how relatively unimportant my own attempts to reduce are in comparison.

  • Bruce

    Is the Army’s carbon footprint calculation public information?

    Recently I saw a TV show about the C5A transport and was astounded by the amount of fuel it used in a single mission. It made me wonder how much it was contributing to greenhouse gases and how relatively unimportant my own attempts to reduce are in comparison.

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