Navy Signs Agreement for Largest Purchase of Renewable Energy by Federal Entity

23-Aug-2015 CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- The Department of the Navy (DON), Western Area Power Administration (Western), and Sempra U.S. Gas & Power hosted a ceremony Aug. 20 at Naval Air Station North Island, California, commemorating an agreement to construct a 210 megawatt (MW) direct current solar facility to benefit 14 DON installations.

The agreement, signed last month, is the largest purchase of renewable energy ever made by a federal entity. 

Adding solar power to naval installations will help diversify the DON's shore energy portfolio and provide long-term cost stability, which ultimately contributes to the DON's energy security priorities. In May 2014, the DON and Western signed an interagency agreement that allowed Western to issue a request for proposal (RFP) and then select Sempra U.S. Gas & Power's Mesquite Solar 3 project, a solar plant located 60 miles west of Phoenix, Arizona. More than 650,000 photovoltaic (PV) panels on ground-mounted, horizontal single-axis trackers will be installed, providing a third of the energy needed to power 14 Navy and Marine Corps installations. Construction of Mesquite Solar 3 begins this month and Sempra U.S. Gas & Power expects the project to be complete by the end of 2016.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, who hosted the ceremony with Western and Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, emphasized the importance of the agreement. 

"The collaboration on Mesquite Solar 3 is a triumph of innovative problem solving, and will help to increase the DON's energy security by diversifying our power portfolio and improving energy efficiency," said Mabus. "This agreement is also projected to save the DON at least $90 million over the life of the project."  (Source: US Navy)

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