NV Energy executives, Nellis leaders, SunPower officials, utility regulators and local elected representatives gathered on Nellis Air Force Base to kick off the construction of a 15MW solar project that will enable the base to run exclusively on renewable energy during daylight hours.
Named the Nellis Solar Array II, this $50 million project and new infrastructure will be owned by NV Energy. The solar project will be built by SunPower and is expected to be complete by the end of 2015. SunPower also designed and constructed the first solar project at Nellis Air Force Base, a 13.2MW solar plant that has been operational since 2007.
Colonel Richard Boutwell, 99th Air Base Wing commander said, “We are proud of our work with renewable energy at Nellis. As the second major solar energy project here, this venture is especially gratifying. It is set to increase our energy independence and strengthen our system reliability.”
“This project represents a creative approach to helping Nellis Air Force Base meet its energy needs, and we are very pleased that this new substation and related electrical connections will enable us to provide even more reliable service to such an important Las Vegas-area customer,” said NV Energy’s Senior Vice President of Customer Operations Pat Egan. He additionally noted that the Nellis Solar Array II project is significant to NV Energy, as it will be the first utility-scale solar resource owned and operated by the utility.
The Nellis Solar Array II project is being built over a closed landfill. At the site, workers will install SunPower Oasis™ Power Plant technology, which uses some of the most efficient panels on the market. These panels will be installed on single-axis trackers that align the panels with the movement of the sun throughout the day.
The new project will be electrically connected to a new nearby NV Energy substation that will be built on the base. This new substation also will serve to add an additional layer of redundancy to the base’s energy supply system.
(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)