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Luke AFB Leases Land for New Solar Power Plant

Posted on: July 15th, 2014 No Comments

The government, recognizing the near unlimited source of power they could harness from the sun, has been utilizingrenewable energy, such as solar power, from the start of the industry.

In 1956, the first solar cells were available commercially, but the cost was far too high for  everyday people.

At $300 for a 1 watt solar cell, the cost to generate solar energy was far beyond anyone’s means. In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s satellites in the USA’s space program were powered by solar cells and in the late 1960’s solar power was basically the standard for powering space bound satellites.

Recently, the Luke Air Force Base in Arizona partnered with Arizona Public Service (APS) on a new solar power plant to be built on 100 acres of land located on the Base. The facility will begin construction at the end of this year, and is expected to produce 10-megawatts of power.

Luke Air Force Base Adding Solar

This partnership will help the Air Force save money and also meet their goals to continue investing in solar renewable energy. APS will lease the land for 30 years from Luke AFB for $6 million.

The project at Luke AFB will join 8 other Arizona sun projects that are already online or in some stage of development, totaling 170 megawatts of solar energy for the state. That amount of megawatts is enough to power more than 42,000 APS customers.

The solar plant will be highly visible and set a great example for other states to incorporate solar energy as a means for power production.

The solar plant will generate enough energy to power 2,500 Arizona homes, and will prevent the emission of 12,000-15,000 tons of greenhouse gases a year, according to Robert Worley, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron installation management flight chief.

More than 200 local jobs will be created during the construction of the plant. The facility will be operational, serving APS customers by summer 2015.

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