Quantcast

Arizona Air Force Base Celebrates Largest Solar Array of Any on U.S. Department of Defense Grounds

Business

There are at least 700 renewable energy projects on U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) grounds. The department's largest solar array was launched this month in Arizona.

The Davis-Monthan Air Force base (D-M) in Tucson, AZ celebrated the ribbon cutting of a 16.4-megawatt photovoltaic solar array earlier this month. The array is powerful enough to provide electricity to 3,000 homes each year and reduce base utility costs by an annual average of $500,000, according to a D-M statement.

"When you look at the money saved over 25 years, it's incredible and also critical to our mission, not only to D-M, but also to the DoD," said Col. Kevin E. Blanchard, 355th Fighter Wing commander.

This is critical, considering that the Air Force is the federal government's largest energy consumer, spending more than $9 billion per year on electricity and fuel.

The new array at D-M will supply about 35 percent of the base's power needs. The base entered into an agreement with SunEdison LLC to design, finance, build, operate and maintain the array on 170 acres of underutilized land at two base locations on base.

The power it will provide each year is equivalent to the carbon emissions that would be reduced by taking 7,500 cars off the road, according to Tucson Electric Power President David Hutchens.

"We are looking across the DoD right now for every avenue that we can find to save money and put that money into readiness and sustainment of our force," Blanchard said. "By saving money on D-M's electric bill, that will help the future of our Air Force, the greatest air force in the world."

Visit EcoWatch’s RENEWABLES page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A verdant and productive urban garden in Havana. Susanne Bollinger / Wikimedia Commons

By Paul Brown

When countries run short of food, they need to find solutions fast, and one answer can be urban farming.

Read More Show Less
Trevor Noah appears on set during a taping of "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" in New York on Nov. 26, 2018. The Daily Show With Trevor Noah / YouTube screenshot

By Lakshmi Magon

This year, three studies showed that humor is useful for engaging the public about climate change. The studies, published in The Journal of Science Communication, Comedy Studies and Science Communication, added to the growing wave of scientists, entertainers and politicians who agree.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
rhodesj / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Cities around the country are considering following the lead of Berkeley, California, which became the first city to ban the installation of natural gas lines in new homes this summer.

Read More Show Less
Rebecca Burgess came up with the idea of a fibersheds project to develop an eco-friendly, locally sourced wardrobe. Nicolás Boullosa / CC BY 2.0

By Tara Lohan

If I were to open my refrigerator, the origins of most of the food wouldn't be too much of a mystery — the milk, cheese and produce all come from relatively nearby farms. I can tell from the labels on other packaged goods if they're fair trade, non-GMO or organic.

Read More Show Less
A television crew reports on Hurricane Dorian while waves crash against the Banana River sea wall. Paul Hennessy / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope

Some good news, for a change, about climate change: When hundreds of newsrooms focus their attention on the climate crisis, all at the same time, the public conversation about the problem gets better: more prominent, more informative, more urgent.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) met with Bill Gates on Nov. 7 to discuss climate change and ways to address the challenge. Senator Chris Coons

The U.S. Senate's bipartisan climate caucus started with just two members, a Republican from Indiana and a Democrat from Delaware. Now it's up to eight members after two Democrats, one Independent and three more Republicans joined the caucus last week, as The Hill reported.

Read More Show Less
EPA scientists survey aquatic life in Newport, Oregon. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to significantly limit the use of science in agency rulemaking around public health, the The New York Times reports.

Read More Show Less
A timelapse video shows synthetic material and baby fish collected from a plankton sample from a surface slick taken off Hawaii's coast. Honolulu Star-Advertiser / YouTube screenshot

A team of researchers led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration didn't intend to study plastic pollution when they towed a tiny mesh net through the waters off Hawaii's West Coast. Instead, they wanted to learn more about the habits of larval fish.

Read More Show Less