WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Army announced Monday plans to start development of a solar array that will provide about 25 percent of the annual installation electricity requirement of Fort Huachuca. “This will be the largest solar array in the Department of Defense on a military installation,” according to the Honorable Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment. A ground breaking is scheduled for April 25, 9 a.m., at the Thunder Mountain Activity Centre pavilion, with commercial operations commencing in late 2014.
“Energy is an installation priority,” said Fort Huachuca’s commanding general, Major Gen. Robert Ashley. “The project goes beyond the megawatts produced. It reflects our continued commitment to southern Arizona and energy security. The project will provide reliable access to electricity for daily operations and missions moving forward.”
The Fort Huachuca Renewable Energy Project is a joint effort between the U.S. Army Energy Initiatives Task Force, Fort Huachuca, The General Services Administration, Tucson Electric Power and developer E.ON Climate and Renewables.
“The project establishes a new path for an innovative partnering opportunity among the U.S. Army, other federal agencies, private industry and the utility provider,” explained Richard Kidd, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for energy and sustainability. “I applaud the significant efforts and teamwork to bring this project to fruition — and set the example for other large scale renewable energy opportunities.”
Beyond providing Fort Huachuca electricity options, the project promotes the U.S. Army’s energy security objectives. It also highlights the collaboration with the U.S. Army and the General Services Administration in using an existing contract, and leverages a seven-decade relationship between Fort Huachuca and Tucson Electric Power.
Tucson Electric Power will fund, own, maintain and operate the project, and contract with E.ON for the design, engineering, procurement and construction.
The U.S. Army’s Energy Initiatives Task Force is instrumental in achieving the U.S. Army’s commitment to the president of deploying one gigawatt of renewable energy by 2025. The task force is currently working projects in New York and California, as well as projects in Alabama, Hawaii and Maryland.