The project will provide electricity to the DMAFB through a power purchase agreement and is expected to save the air base several million dollars in energy costs over the life of the system, as well as help it achieve energy independence. In continuous operation since its establishment in 1925, DMAFB is critical to a broad cross-section of missions, all integral to the national security of the United States. It is the only Air Combat Command base in Arizona, and has strong support from both the local community and the Arizona congressional delegation.
The project will also provide Renewable Energy Credits to the Tucson Electric Power Company (TEP), an Arizona corporation and principal subsidiary of UniSource Energy, which serves more than 400,000 customers in southern Arizona, covering the city of Tucson, as well as numerous smaller towns and unincorporated areas in Pima and Santa Cruz Counties.
In November 2006, the state regulatory body for utilities, the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), approved the Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff (REST), which requires regulated electric utilities in Arizona to generate 15% of their energy from renewable resources by 2025. At the end of 2010, TEP was generating most of its power from coal (69.6%) and natural gas (30.2%), with less than 1% coming from eligible renewable sources. This project is part of TEP’s plan to comply with state regulations.
The project consists of the construction and operation of a 12.6 MWAC photovoltaic solar park using traditional polycrystalline silicon photovoltaic solar panels mounted on single-axis trackers that automatically follows the path of the sun during the day to maximize the solar radiation that the solar panels receive. The solar park will be built on approximately 144 acres across two parcels of land and will be 2 executed under an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.
The Project will interconnect to DMAFB onsite through TEP’s existing interconnecting point and is expected to generate sufficient energy to offset about half of DMAFB’s electrical needs.
The project will displace greenhouse gases produced by traditional fossil-fuel based energy generation and thus contribute help improve air quality, while providing the air force base with a safe, reliable energy alternative. Estimated emission improvements include the displacement of over 16,964 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), 11 metric tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 17 metric tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2) per year. The Project is expected to generate electricity equivalent to the annual consumption of approximately 2,100 households
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US 27.59M - NADBank Loan