26 August 2015

US Navy to invest in world’s largest solar park

The United States Navy has announced its plans to invest in what will be the largest solar park in the world and the array will power 14 of its bases.

The Mesquite solar farm in Arizona is already has two earlier phases in operation and the Navy’s deal to extend the farm is the largest ever renewable energy purchase by a U.S. federal government agency.

Mesquite 3 will be located 60 miles west of Phoenix, Arizona with a generation capacity of 210MW.

650,000 extra solar panels will be installed as part of the deal and the Navy says it will save $90 million in energy costs over the 25-year contract.

The Navy estimates that the new project will avoid 190,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year, which is roughly equivalent to taking 33,000 cars off the road.

The Secretary of State for the Navy, Ray Mabus, launched the project and has been campaigning for clean energy to be used for military power generation.

The US Department of Defense was directed by Congress in 2009 to source 25 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2025.

The Navy’s total renewable energy procurement will be 1.2 GW by the end of 2015 and it will use the power for Navy and Marine Corps installations in California and neighbouring states, according to Navy officials.

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