Camp Pendleton Marines Get Solar Power

The Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest, in collaboration with Kyocera Solar, announced recently a new solar electric system for the United States Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. The ground-mounted 1.4 megawatt project was completed in February of this year, but development began last June.

Kyocera Solar, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, provided the 6,300 modules for the 225 panel solar system, which were manufactured locally at the company’s San Diego facility. The new power provider is now the largest photovoltaic system located on a Marine Corps base, and ranks as one of the largest solar installations in San Diego County.

Image via Kyocera Solar

NAVFAC predicts the renewable energy project will produce 2,400 megawatt-hours each year, or enough to power roughly 400 homes if at capacity. The solar power facility is also expected to save the Marine Corps $336,000 in electricity costs annually. An additional benefit of the project is its location. By installing the panels on top of the Box Canyon landfill, they project is able to produce a significant amount of power without impacting new land and ecosystems.

The Box Canyon solar system comes as only one of several other projects the U.S. military has undertaken to reduce fossil-fuel use. We recently reported that the Navy was targeting lighting energy consumption at several bases in the United States, including some in California. All of these programs are pushing the Navy towards its goal of getting 50% of its energy from non-fossil fuel sources by 2020.

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Aaron Colter is a freelance writer and marketing consultant in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Purdue University, he has worked for the NCAA, Dark Horse Comics, Willamette Week, AOL, The Huffington Post, Top Shelf Productions, DigitalTrends, theMIX agency, SuicideGirls, EarthTechling, d'Errico Studios and others. He is also the co-founder of BananaStandMedia.com, a free record label, recording studio, and distribution service for independent musicians.