September 21, 2020

Nellis Air Force Base Solar Power System


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armysolarwhitemissileNellis Air Force Base, home to the largest advanced air combat training mission in the world, the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center, is now home to another significant facility that merits the title “largest” – North America’s largest solar photovoltaic power plant, covering 140 acres and providing over 14 megawatts of electricity.

This innovative project showcases a unique public-private sector partnership using technology from SunPower Corporation and financing by MMA Renewable Ventures, with minimal capital investment by the U.S. Air Force.

The Nellis Air Force Base solar power system, designed and built by SunPower Corporation, will meet an average of 25% of the electricity requirements at the base, where 12,000 people live and work, using the SunPower T20 Tracker single-axis solar tracking system to maximize solar electrical generation by following the path of the sun.

Equally innovative is the funding and ownership of the $100 million system: MMA Renewable Ventures, LLC has financed and will own and operate the landmark solar energy system, selling power to Nellis Air Force Base at a guaranteed rate for the next 20 years, as well as selling Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to Nevada Power.

screen-shot-2014-09-09-at-10-13-21-amThe Nellis Air Force Base solar project demonstrates the Air Force’s aggressive response to the Energy Policy Act 2005 and Executive Order 13423 – Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management. This solar power plant places Nellis Air Force Base at the forefront of federally-mandated energy conservation and renewable energy initiatives. The solar power system will reduce

CO2 emissions by 24,000 tons annually, equivalent to planting 260,000 trees or removing 185,000 cars from the roadways.


The Nellis Air Force Base Solar Power System supports the proud traditions of the Air Force in helping lead the way to a better future.


Project Information

Project surface area: 140 acres

Solar plant capacity: 14.2 megawatts

Date of completion: December 2007

Annual energy output: 30,100,000 kWh

Equivalent number of homes powered during the daytime: 13,200

Estimated annual Air Force savings: $1 million

Length of construction: 26 weeks

Number of workers: 200


Technical Specifications Technology: SunPower T20 Tracker Number of Trackers: 5,821

Number of solar panels: 72,416

Number of solar cells: 5,891,328

Number of watts per panel: 200

Number of transformers: 18

Number of inverters: 54

Total length of power cables: 5,550,000 ft.




PHOTOS – The world’s largest solar arrays

By Lyndsey Gilpin From Tech Republic

Nellis Solar Power Plant

The Nellis Solar Power Plant at the Nellis Air Force Base in Clark County, Nevada, just northeast of Las Vegas, has about 70,000 solar panels that occupy 140 acres. It is said to be the second largest photovoltaic array in the US, generating 25 gigawatt hours of electricity every year. That supports about a quarter of the power used at the base.

White Sands Missile Range

This installation in New Mexico is the US Army’s largest solar array and power plant to date, generating about 10 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year. It opened in January 2013 and is estimated to save the Army about $930,000 a year.

vanpah Solar Electric Generating System

This system is located in the Mojave Desert near Ivanpah, California. It is owned by NRG Energy, Google, and Brightsource Energy. It built on 3,500 acres of public desert, providing solar energy to more than 140,000 homes in the area. It became operational in December 2013.

Catalina Solar Project

The 143.2 megawatt Catalina Solar Project is built on 1,100 acres of land in California’s Mojave Desert. It generates enough energy to power 35,000 homes through San Diego Gas & Electric Company, and was built in two phases. Catalina is EDF Energy’s largest solar project in the US, and it has been fully operational since August 2013.

Image: EDF Energy

Agua Caliente Solar Project

The project, (which actually may be the largest in the world at this time) cost $1.8 billion to build and is owned by NRG Energy and MidAmerican Solar. It operates on 2,400 acres of land between Yuma and Phoenix, Arizona and serves 225,000 homes.

Image: NRG

California Valley Solar Ranch

This solar power plant is in San Luis Obispo County, California. The 250 megawatt plant is on 3,200 acres of land and generates power for roughly 100,000 homes. The plant, a project of SunPower and NRG, is part of California’s plan to generate 33% of its energy from renewables by 2020.

Image: California Valley Solar Ranch

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  1. I really like the information provided in this article. Thanks for sharing It’ s my pleasure to read it.

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