Construction has begun for the largest solar photovoltaic system built in North America at the Nellis Air Force Base, home of the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center.
Spearheading the project is a team that includes Nevada Power Co. (a Las Vegas-based public utility), MMA Renewable Ventures LLC (a subsidiary of Municipal Mortgage & Equity LLC) and PowerLight Corp. (a subsidiary of SunPower Corp.). The project will generate in excess of 25 million kWh of clean electricity per year and supply more than 25% of the power used at the base, the companies say. Occupying 140 acres of land leased from the Air Force at the western edge of the base, this ground-mounted solar system will employ an advanced tracking system, designed and deployed by PowerLight.
Approximately 70,000 solar panels and the PowerLight PowerTracker will capture up to 30% more energy than an equivalent ground-mounted fixed-tilt system, the companies say. Rated at approximately 15 MW, the array will generate the power of a rooftop solar system with a rating of approximately 18 MW. MMA Renewable Ventures will finance, own and operate the system and sell the power to Nellis under a power purchase agreement, the companies add.