SunEdison and MIC Solar Energy Holdings announced the completion of a 16.4MW PV solar power plant located outside Tucson, Arizona on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (AFB). The plant is the largest solar energy facility at any U.S. Department of Defense installation and is expected to reduce the Air Force's utility costs by $500,000 annually for the next 25 years.
"This project was very rewarding for our team because we are helping save our fellow taxpayers' money," said Bob Powell, president of North America, SunEdison. "The Air Force, like other branches of the armed forces, is a perfect candidate for solar power because they have high electricity demands and often have large plots of underutilized land. We can help them use that land to generate significant cost savings that can be reinvested into our country."
The project became a reality thanks to a public/private alliance between Davis-Monthan AFB, SunEdison, The North American Development Bank (NADB), MIC Solar Energy Holdings, LLC, Chevron Energy Solutions and local officials. MIC Solar Energy Holdings, which specializes in infrastructure investments, took ownership of the project. The SunEdison Renewable Operation Center (ROC) will manage plant operations through a contract with MIC Solar Energy Holdings.
Located on two plots of previously underutilized land totaling 170 acres, the plant is designed to provide 35 percent of the base's electricity requirements and is expected to generate enough electricity each year to power 5,173 houses. As the largest consumer of energy in the federal government, the Air Force is working to increase its use of renewable electricity to 25 percent by 2025.
Speaking about the project, Col. Kevin Blanchard, Commander of Davis-Monthan AFB said: "This project is the result of a symbiotic relationship between private and public organization. By combining our expertise, we've successfully completed a project that many initially doubted was possible."
The Davis-Monthan AFB solar power plant utilizes SunEdison Silvantis™ Solar PV Modules. SunEdison polysilicon and wafers are the foundation for Silvantis modules, which are designed for maximum efficiency and durability.
"When SunEdison first proposed building this system at Davis-Monthan AFB, a project of that size was unheard of. We knew it was ambitious but also visionary," said David G. Hutchens, President and Chief Operating Officer of Tucson Electric Power. "Through diligence and expertise, they made the system work for all parties. This is a very successful example of the possibilities of public/private partnerships."