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Nellis AFB

NV Energy has selected SunPower for the construction of a 19MW direct current solar photovoltaic power system at Nellis Air Force Base (AFB) in Nevada, US.

Construction is expected to start in 2015 and is subject to contract approval by Nevada’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The system represents the second major solar installation at the air base.

SunPower had completed a 14MW (DC) solar power system at the facility in 2007, which was inaugurated in December the same year.

The SunPower Oasis power plant system is a fully integrated, modular solar power block, engineered to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy utility-scale solar projects while optimising land use at the air base.

SunPower regions president Howard Wenger said the company took nine months to build the existing plant, which was the largest solar photovoltaic power plant in the US at the time.

"Today, we can install more than one megawatt per day at our larger power plant sites, creating long-term value for our utility customers and competing effectively with traditional energy sources," Wenger said.

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"The system represents the second major solar installation at the air base."

NV Energy renewable energy and origination vice president Stacey Kusters said the company look towards bringing cleaner, renewable energy to power facilities and military operations at the base.

"Our partnership with SunPower is a key component of achieving our renewable energy goals at a competitive cost," Kusters said.

Once completed, the plant is expected to offset the annual production of almost 27,000t of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, according to estimates provided by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Nellis AFB’s existing solar power plant contains 70,000 solar panels, and annually generates more than 25GW-hours of electricity and supply more than 25% of the power used at the base.

Image: SunPower had constructed a 14MW (DC) solar power plant at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, US, in 2007. Photo: courtesy of USAF.

Defence Technology