Nellis Solar Power Plant


Nellis Solar Power Plant
Nellis Solar Power Plant

Nellis Solar Power Plant, the second largest photovoltaic power plant in North America
Nellis Solar Power Plant is located in Nevada
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Location of Nellis Solar Power Plant
Country United States
Location Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada
Coordinates 36°15′30″N 115°03′10″W / 36.25833°N 115.05278°W / 36.25833; -115.05278Coordinates: 36°15′30″N 115°03′10″W / 36.25833°N 115.05278°W / 36.25833; -115.05278
Commission date December 17, 2007
Owner(s) Nellis Air Force Base
Solar farm information
Type Flat-panel PV
Photovoltaic modules 70,000
Land area 140 acres (0.6 km2)
Power generation information
Installed capacity 14 MW

The Nellis Solar Power Plant is located within Nellis Air Force Base in Clark County, Nevada, on the northeast side of Las Vegas. The Nellis solar energy system will generate in excess of 25 million kilowatt-hours (kW·h) of electricity annually and supply more than 25 percent of the power used at the base.[1] The system was inaugurated in a ceremony on December 17, 2007, with Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons activating full operation of the 14 megawatt (MW) array.[2][3]

Occupying 140 acres (57 ha) of land leased from the Air Force at the western edge of the base, this ground-mounted solar system employs an advanced sun tracking system, designed and deployed by SunPower. The system contains approximately 70,000 solar panels, and the peak power generation capacity of the plant is approximately 13 MW AC.[1] This means the ratio of average to peak output, or capacity factor, of this plant is around 22%.

The energy generated will support more than 12,000 military and civilians at Nellis who are responsible for Air Force advanced combat training, tactics development and operational testing. Construction began on April 23, 2007,[1] and operation of the first 5 MW began on October 12, 2007.[4][5]

Contents

Renewable portfolio standard

A section of the Nellis Solar Power Plant

In 1997 Nevada passed a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) as part of their 1997 Electric Restructuring Legislation (AB 366) It required any electric providers in the state to acquire actual renewable electric generation or purchase renewable energy credits so that each utility had 1 percent of total consumption in renewables. However, on June 8, 2001, Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn signed SB 372, at the time the country's most aggressive renewable portfolio standard. The law requires that 15 percent of all electricity generated in Nevada be derived from new renewables by the year 2013.[6]

The 2001, revision to the RPS keeps in place Nevada's commitment to expand solar energy resources by requiring that at least 5 percent of the renewable energy projects must generate electricity from solar energy.[6]

In June 2005, the Nevada legislature passed a bill during a special legislative session that modified the Nevada RPS (Assembly Bill 03). The bill extends the deadline and raised the requirements of the RPS to 20 percent of sales by 2015.[6]


Expansion

An extension of the plant, which could generate another 18 megawatts of power, has been proposed. The Air Force has not yet decided whether to have the extension built, and its potential cost and size have not been determined, but the military sees considerable operational advantages in solar power.[7]

Presidential visit

President Barack Obama addressed an audience of more than 450 people at the Nellis Solar Power Plant on May 27, 2009.

President Barack Obama visited the facility on May 27, 2009.[8]

See also

References

External links


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