US Navy signs solar energy purchase contract for NS Norfolk

22 September 2015 (Last Updated September 22nd, 2015 18:30)

The US Department of the Navy (DON) has awarded a contract to Virginia Electric and Power Company for the long-term purchase of 25MW direct current (DC) to supply 6% of Naval Station (NS) Norfolk.

The US Department of the Navy (DON) has awarded a contract to Virginia Electric and Power Company for the long-term purchase of 25MW direct current (DC) to supply 6% of Naval Station (NS) Norfolk.

As part of this development, a fixed-tilt, solar photovoltaic (PV) generation facility, Morgans Corner, is currently being constructed at Pasquotank County, North Carolina.

The new facility, which will span 110 acres and consist of 81,054 solar panels, is due to come into service by April next year.

The latest agreement is expected to strengthen the power portfolio of NS Norfolk and offer long-term cost stability by guaranteeing a fixed-price for the term, the navy stated.

Navy assistant secretary for energy, installations and environment Dennis McGinn said: "Access to reliable supplies of energy is critical for the DON to execute its missions at home and abroad.

"Access to reliable supplies of energy is critical for the DON to execute its missions at home and abroad."

"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 DON has been taking steps to adopt renewable energy since 2009, in order to enhance energy security, operational capability, strategic flexibility, and resource availability.

In 2009, Congress instructed the US Department of Defense (DoD) to produce or procure 25% of total DoD facility energy from renewable sources by 2025.

The DON currently has more than 1.2GW of renewable energy projects in the pipeline.

In August, the DON signed an agreement with Western Area Power Administration and Sempra US Gas & Power to construct a 210MW direct current solar facility to support 14 DON installations.

Under this deal, Sempra US Gas & Power's Mesquite Solar 3 project is responsible for delivering a third of the energy needed to power 14 navy and Marine Corps installations.