Solar Powers Ohio National Guard Base

It’s not quite on the level of the solar power system that the Vermont National Guard recently unveiled – but the one that just went online at Camp Perry Ohio National Guard Base is pretty impressive, and yet another sign that at every level, military operations in the United States are leading the greening of the country.

The ground-mount system at the Port Clinton, Ohio, Guard base checks in at 538 kilowatts (compared to the 1.5-megawatt system in Vermont). It consists of 2,750 panels from San Jose, Calif.-based Nanosolar – but there is a local green-job element to this story: Nanosolar said the panels were assembled into cartridges by mounting-systems vendor AP Alternatives at its fabrication facility in Ridgeville Corners, Ohio, about 80 miles west of Port Clinton.

Camp Perry, Ohio, Nanosolar

image via Nanosolar

These are not your old-school PV panels. Nanosolar is in the thin-film game, using a proprietary approach to printing copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) and nanoparticle inks that it says minimizes the use of expensive, high vacuum manufacturing equipment.

In announcing the Camp Perry job completion, Nanosolar also said it was on schedule to do a 1-MW ground-mount thin film solar installation at yet another National Guard Base – Camp Roberts, near Paso Robles, Calif.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.