Switch Thrown for Newest Set of Solar Photovoltaic Carports

Last Updated : 5/26/2011 10:15:48 AM

NAVAL AIR WEAPONS STATION CHINA LAKE, Calif. - Once again adding to the production of shore-based energy from renewable sources, Commanding Officer Jeffrey Dodson, officially flipped the switch turning on the Station's newest set of solar photovoltaic carports during a ceremony held April 21 at the Ranges Department Headquarters.

"We are glad we are able to do our part to help the Secretary of the Navy and even the State of California Governor's meet their alternative energy goals," Dodson said.  Every single carport project is contributing to the 50 percent shore-base energy requirements from renewable sources - one of the energy goals stated by the Honorable Ray Mabus, SECNAV, at the Naval Energy Forum in McLean, Va, in October last year.  

The project was an energy project award under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  The intent of the project was to reduce the carbon footprint and energy consumption of the base by adding carport-mounted solar photovoltaic power systems within the Michelson Lab parking lot, one of the parking lots at Armitage Airfield, and at Ranges Headquarters.  The headquarters project was the last to be completed.

The solar photovoltaic carport system at Michelson Lab is a 155 kilowatt system, while the system at Armitage Airfield is a 248 kilowatt system and the one at Ranges Headquarters is 230 kilowatts.

The solar photovoltaic carport system supplies power to the buildings and feeds energy back into the power grid when there is excess electricity produced.  All the solar photovoltaic projects at China Lake added together should generate approximately one megawatt of annual renewable energy, Dodson said. 

There is another benefit to the photovoltaic carports than just saving energy.  The carports protect employees' vehicles from the harsh desert sun and keep them cooler than vehicles parked in direct sunlight.

"I would like to express our thanks to the Region and to all those who made this project all come together," said Kathy Seals, head of the Range Department.  "The carports have made a huge, huge difference!"

Seals thanked Dodson for listening to how the sun was affecting the vehicles and how hard it was on the employees to get into burning hot cars at the end of the workday.

Dodson acknowledged Seals' thanks, adding his own personal thanks to Public Works Officer Cmdr. Stan Kloss, Sean Halpin from the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest China Lake Detachment Public Works Department and all those who contributed to the successful completion of the project, a project that had no lost time safety/accident incidents and is contributing to the Station's renewable energy generation.

Tagged : ,