Solar farm to power Pa. town
The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) has finalized a contract to build a solar panel farm that will provide Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa., with clean renewable solar energy for the next 20 years, reducing the facility's power demand costs.
“This solar power purchase agreement is a first-of-its-kind for a commonwealth agency and provides a template for other agencies seeking to implement green energy solutions,” said Brig. Gen. Tony Carrelli, Pennsylvania's adjutant general. “Every time we introduce leading-edge technologies, cost savings and improved efficiencies, it is a win for Pennsylvania and its residents.”
The solar panel farm is the latest in a series of initiatives the DMVA has taken in recent years to improve energy savings, including the conversion of most facilities on the Fort Indiantown Gap training center to natural gas, reports Construction Equipment Guide.
Slated for construction this spring, the solar panel farm will sit on nearly 19 acres of land between Service and Coulter roads on Fort Indiantown Gap. The panels are expected to generate 5,697 MWhs of solar energy in their first year, which is equivalent to providing power for 525 residential homes. The solar panel farm will also reduce the consumption of electricity from the power grid for Fort Indiantown Gap by 15 percent, while meeting federal energy standards requiring the use of clean, renewable and alternative energy.
The DMVA, with assistance from the Department of General Services, is contracting with Tesla Laboratories to design, construct, operate and maintain the solar panel farm at no cost to the agency. The DMVA will purchase energy from the farm for 20 years.
At the end of the term, the facility can either be purchased from Tesla or removed from DMVA property.
Tesla has a history of providing energy solutions to the Department of Defense, previously supporting a number of deployments to Iraq by producing electricity for warfighters.
The DMVA's initiative to improve energy savings supports the Governor's Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency (GO-TIME), which works with state entities to modernize government operations to reduce costs and improve services. State agencies already saved more than $156 million.
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