Gallery: US Air Force to Quadruple Their On-Base Solar Power in Four Ye...


The United States Air Force — already the biggest government buyer of renewable energy — announced it will be quadrupling its on-base solar energy generation in the next four years. With the Department of Defense spending $24 billion last year on fuel and power this move is not only going to be an earth saver but a cash saver for the whole country as well.

Some bases, like Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada already have solar energy generation facilities installed — the photos above are of the Nellis Solar Power Plant which generates 14 megawatts of solar power for their facilities. Last year after announcing their total power and fuel consumption cost the Department of Defense (DOD) announced that they’ll be requiring all of their facilities to get 25 percent of total consumption of power and fuel from renewable sources by 2025 — quadrupling the solar energy generated by the Air Force is one way to get there.

On Tuesday night, President Obama’s State of the Union address called for the whole country to generate 80% of our energy from renewable sources by 2035. We’re hoping the DOD will be even higher than their 25% goal by 2025 — they’ll need to be in order to reach the 80% target 10 years later. US Military groups around the world are focusing on using renewable energy in their missions and facilities, like this biofueled plane and these solar powered tents. Announcing the quadrupling of the Air Force’s on-base solar energy generation is just another stop on the road to reducing the emissions of the giant energy guzzler that is the US Armed Forces.


If the US Air Force can meet their goal of quadrupling their on base solar power in four years, they’ll be well on their way to reducing their emissions and move towards saving the whole nation some cash – they spent $24 billion last year on fuel and power.



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1 Comment

  1. lazyreader January 31, 2011 at 8:15 am

    And does solar power keep their jets in the air, no of course not.
    In a previous Inhabitat article, the Navy built a solar array across it’s parking lot at the cost of 1.9 million dollars (all Stimulus money). Designed that it will only save 30,000 dollars a year for them. Which means it will pay for it self after 63.3333 years (assuming they don’t spend those savings). If for instance they put the saved money in the bank to collect with interest. So say the payback could be under 40 years or so. But as for the panels, they’ll be obsolete in about 10 years. And removed after 15-20, Now you have to contract, pay and install new more modern ones and pay for the safe disposal of the old panels, as these high efficiency solar cells are made of gallium arsenide (arsenic compounds for all those who failed chemistry class) and germanium, not silicon. Don’t forget the cost of maintenance, cleaning and service. Where’s the cost saving. All it will do is generate only a fraction of the power needed to run the base. It’ll look good when politicians stand there to cut the ribbon and maybe shade the Admiral’s car so it’s cooler in the summer. I’m all for reducing energy use. If the military wants to save money, I can think of another way to get it.

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