ANNVILLE, PA – The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) finalized a contract to build a solar panel farm that will provide Fort Indiantown Gap, Lebanon County, with clean renewable solar energy for the next 20 years, reducing the facility’s power demand costs.
“This solar power purchase agreement is a first-of-its-kind for a commonwealth agency and provides a template for other agencies seeking to implement green energy solutions,” said Brig. Gen. Tony Carrelli, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general. “Every time we introduce leading-edge technologies, cost savings and improved efficiencies, it is a win for Pennsylvania and its residents.”
The solar panel farm is the latest in a series of initiatives the DMVA has taken in recent years to improve energy savings, including the conversion of most facilities on the Fort Indiantown Gap training center to natural gas.
Slated for construction in the spring of 2017, the solar panel farm will reside on nearly 19 acres of land located between Service and Coulter roads on Fort Indiantown Gap. The panels are expected to generate 5,697 MWhs of solar energy in their first year, which is equivalent to providing power for 525 residential homes. The solar panel farm will also reduce the consumption of electricity from the power grid for Fort Indiantown Gap by 15 percent, while meeting federal energy standards requiring the use of clean, renewable and alternative energy.
The DMVA, with assistance from the Department of General Services, is contracting with Tesla Laboratories Incorporated to design, construct, operate and maintain the solar panel farm at no cost to the agency. The DMVA will purchase energy from the farm for 20 years. At the end of the term, the facility can either be purchased from Tesla or removed from DMVA property.
Tesla has a history of providing energy solutions to the Department of Defense, previously supporting a number of deployments to Iraq by producing electricity for the warfighters.
The DMVA’s initiative to improve energy savings supports the Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency (GO-TIME), which works with state entities to modernize government operations in order to reduce costs and improve services. State agencies already saved over $156 million and Governor Wolf challenged GO-TIME to build upon this success by achieving $500 million in savings by 2020.
To learn more about GO-TIME, visit https://www.governor.pa.gov/go-time/.
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