As Army officials prepare to celebrate the opening next week of a 2-megawatt solar array at Dugway Proving Ground, the installation confirmed plans for the construction of a 3-megawatt array about 20 miles away.
When the second array is completed, the two will provide 25 percent of the electrical needs of the test center, administrative buildings and homes at Dugway, located in the West Desert of Utah. That output would meet DOD’s goal of obtaining 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources and advance the proving ground’s efforts to become a net zero installation, reported Army Public Affairs.
“Not only are we on track to meet the Army’s goal, but we are acting as good neighbors with the state of Utah,” said Don Smith, Dugway’s garrison manager. “We will be able to shave of a portion of Rocky Mountain Power’s output during its peak hours, which will benefit everyone.”
The first array, which began operations in February, is made up of more than 7,000 solar panels on 10 acres of land. It cost $7.7 million to build.
To support its effort to adopt renewables, the proving ground is building a microgrid, which will allow it to operate on stored energy when the commercial grid is down.
“With the aging infrastructure of the commercial power grid it became critical that we find an alternate method to ensure an uninterrupted power source,” Smith said.