Tampa, Fla.-based solar contractor Solar Source has completed construction on a 1,200-panel solar power system at the Naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The solar array, which is the first of its scale on the island, will produce electricity to power a new fitness center for military personnel.
Solar Source provided engineering, procurement and construction for the approximately 300 kW system, which required six-foot screws, custom engineering and pre-drilling to penetrate the dense shell and rock ground. The turnkey solar installation is part of a larger military effort to save money by lowering power bills.
The military base at Guantanamo Bay has produced its own electricity since the 1960s, when Rear Adm. John Bulkeley spearheaded the base's efforts to become independent from Cuba's water and power supplies. However, electricity is expensive for the base, with diesel fuel shipped in from overseas, Solar Source notes. The naval base is undergoing several conservation measures.