A study released by the Department of Defense found that four miltary bases located in the California desert could generate 7 GW of solar power, the equivalent of seven nuclear power plants.
The department studied nine different bases located in California and Nevada to uncover the solar energy potential and found that even though 96 percent of the land on those bases was unsuitable for solar development, there still existed enough suitable land on four California bases to generate more than 30 times the electricity used by those bases. That 7-GW potential also equals about 25 percent of the renewable energy that the state is requiring utilities to use by 2015.
The department is looking to make distributed installations of solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable energy sources in order to bring down cost and also to make the bases more self-sufficient, hopefully allowing them to run operations for weeks or months if any interruptions occurred in power from the grid.
The four military bases that will likely see solar power development based on this study are Edwards Air Force Base, Fort Irwin, China Lake and Twentynine Palms.
written by Minor Heretic, January 26, 2012
written by IDK, March 28, 2013
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