Naval Station Norfolk will purchase 25 megawatts of direct current from a solar farm now under construction in northeastern North Carolina, officials announced last week.
The Navy will purchase the energy through a 10-year agreement with Dominion Virginia Power, the installation’s current provider. Invenergy Solar Development is developing the fixed-tilt, solar photovoltaic generation facility, which will span 110 acres and consist of 81,054 solar panels. The project is scheduled to come into service by April 2016 and is expected to supply 6 percent of the naval station’s energy needs.
The agreement will help diversify the installation’s power portfolio and provide long-term cost stability by guaranteeing a fixed price over the life of the contract, according to a Navy press release. The project also will help the Navy meet Secretary Ray Mabus’ goal of bringing one gigawatt of renewable energy into procurement by the end of 2015.
“Access to reliable supplies of energy is critical for the DON to execute its missions at home and abroad,” said Dennis McGinn, assistant secretary for energy, installations and environment. “In addition to more and different types of power sources, signing long-term contracts for a set price informs our long-term planning for energy and provides needed stability. The Department of the Navy will continue to seek agreements like this one to help us enhance our energy security and operational capacity,” McGinn said.
The Navy Department has more than 1.2 gigawatts of renewable energy projects in the pipeline, bringing 270 megawatts into procurement in the last two months.