Let the Sun Shine, Again

Officials at Nellis AFB, Nev., broke ground on the base’s next solar energy farm, construction of which is slated for completion by year’s end. Nellis II is designed to provide 19 megawatts of electrical power to the base, according to Nellis’ April 4 release. It will join Nellis I, a 14-megawatt solar farm that’s been operating since late last decade. “When this solar array is online, combined with our first solar array, Nellis will be host to the largest solar photonics system in the Department of Defense,” said Col. Richard Boutwell, commander of the base’s 99th Air Base Wing. SunPower of San Jose will construct Nellis II. NV Energy, the Nevada state utility, will own and operate the farm; under a 31-year lease agreement, NV Energy will sell energy produced by the array to the base, states the release. “Because the array is situated on the installation, Nellis gains an energy security component,” said Stacey Kusters, NV Energy’s vice president of renewable energy. “And, because any extra electricity generated by the system will flow to the grid, the surrounding community benefits as well,” added Kusters. The groundbreaking ceremony took place on March 24.