Is solar energy saving you money? If it isn’t already doing so directly, you are realizing some cost savings indirectly as an American taxpayer. The federal government recently set forth a requirement that, by 2025, every federal agency must derive at least 25 percent of its power needs from renewable sources. As the nation’s largest power consumer, the federal government racks up some hefty electric bills each year, all of which are paid for with tax dollars. The U.S Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program reports that, between 2009 and 2011, the government saved taxpayers $3.5 billion through the use of solar power* and other alternative energy generating systems, and it looks like that number will keep growing.
Department of Defense Solar Generating Projects
In California’s sun-rich Mohave Desert, the U.S. Navy broke ground on a 118-acre solar array project in 2012 for the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station. The China Lake project, with a 13.78 megawatt capacity, is estimated to save a minimum of $13 million in power costs in its first 20 years of operation.
Fort Irwin, also in the Mohave Desert, has a solar plant approximately the size of Manhattan, with plans to expand for a total of 1,000 megawatts of capacity. The SolarStrong project is building more than $1 billion in solar generating equipment, designated to power military housing projects for American service members. In addition to the large energy cost savings SolarStrong will provide, the project also has generated thousands of jobs.
In Fort Bliss, Texas, a 20-megawatt solar farm is nearing completion, designed to serve the Army Corps of Engineers. The Department of Defense is endeavoring to make Fort Bliss the first “net zero” government site, producing as much energy as it consumes.
The Solar Powerhouse at Nellis Air Force Base
Closer to home, Nellis AFB in southern Nevada is proving to be a prime example of this trend, hosting one of the largest solar arrays in the United States. Covering a mind-boggling 140 acres, the Nellis system boasts 70,000 photovoltaic panels. The system serves 12,000 people on base and contributes more than 25 percent of its total annual power needs. The best part? The Nellis energy savings is estimated to exceed $1 million every year. The system’s installation required no out-of-pocket cost for the Air Force, which will no longer have to endure fluctuating power costs or rely on local electrical utility providers.
Intermountain Wind and Solar, serving customers throughout the U.S. Intermountain West region, is committed to helping home and business owners alike end their dependence on electric utility providers. Contact them today to get started, so you too can take advantage of renewable solar energy, saving money all the while.
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