This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

April 26, 2006

Air Force Plans for 18 Megawatts of Solar Power at Nevada Base

The U.S. Air Force issued a request for solicitation on April 18th for the installation of an 18-megawatt solar photovoltaic array at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The Air Force hopes to find a contractor willing to own, operate, and maintain the solar power array, while the Air Force Base will buy all the power from the solar plant. The Air Force will provide about 140 acres for the solar array, and the contractor must interconnect the system to the Nevada Power Company power grid. To generate additional revenue, the contractor can sell renewable energy credits for the solar power generated at the site, but the Air Force may not award a contract if the proposals fail to reduce the long-term costs for electrical utility services at the base. Proposals are due on June 16th. See the Air Force solicitation on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site.

A number of organizations are currently pressing ahead with large solar photovoltaic projects. In early April, the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission (NJMC) announced plans to install 5 megawatts of solar power, which will probably be dispersed over a number of NJMC properties. By 2020, the commission intends to install a total of 20 megawatts of renewable power sources in the Meadowlands District, which includes about 30 square miles in northeast New Jersey. See the NJMC press release.

Other planned solar projects will be the largest yet in Florida and Connecticut. Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) plans to install a 250-kilowatt system in Sarasota, while the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) announced in March that it will help fund a 433-kilowatt array on the distribution center of a company in eastern Connecticut. The CCEF has funded more than 100 solar power systems, representing a total capacity of more than one megawatt. Meanwhile, California continues its leadership in the realm of large solar power facilities: on April 19th, the City of Oakland dedicated a 1.1-megawatt system, designed and built by PowerLight, and two days later, SunPower Corporation finished installing a 480-kilowatt system at Microsoft Corporation's campus in Mountain View. See the press releases from FPL, CCEF, PowerLight, and SunPower.