Saturday, April 21, 2007

Nellis startup of largest solar power plant in U.S. still a struggle

Above: A bird's-eye view of Nellis AFB. The total land area occupied by Nellis and its restricted ranges is about 5,000 square miles.

The largest solar power plant in North America will soon be providing electricity to an Air Force base in the Nevada desert.

The military says the plant, which is scheduled to power up at Nellis Air Force Base in the fall, shows that solar energy can be an effective part of the country’s energy needs.

“It allows the Air Force to show its leadership in applying renewable energy and new technology to reduce our needs to use traditional forms of electric power,” said Maj. Don Ohlemacher, operations flight chief and acting commander of the 99th civil engineer squadron at the base.

But the project also demonstrates something else: the considerable constraints that continue to limit the viability and growth of solar electric power in the U.S.

Read the rest at Air Force Times