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Solar Energy Development on DoD Installations in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts

Posted by Content Coordinator on Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

SERDP AND ESTCP

Executive Summary
Key Findings

This analysis determined that over 7,000 megawatts (MWAC) of solar energy development is technically feasible and financially viable at several Department of Defense (DoD) installations in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts of California.

Approximately 25,000 acres are “suitable” for solar development and another 100,000 acres are “likely” or “questionably” suitable for solar.

This level of solar potential exists even though 96 percent of the surface area of the installations is unsuitable for solar energy development due to conflicts between solar energy development and military mission activities occurring at the installations or due to steep slope, flash flood hazards, biological resource conflicts, cultural resource conflicts, and other factors.

Private developers can tap the solar potential with no capital investment requirement from the DoD.

The Federal Government could potentially receive approximately $100 million/year in the form of rental payments, reduced cost power, in-kind considerations, or some combination among them.

There are a range of technical, policy and programmatic barriers that can slow or, in some cases, stop solar development. Transmission capacity and the management of withdrawn lands are the two most important issues.

Report Purpose

This study addresses current solar development activities and includes an evaluation of the potential for solar energy development inside the boundaries of nine large military installations located in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts of southern California and Nevada (see Figure ES.1 and Table ES.1). In addition to assessing the solar energy potential of the military installations, this report also discusses the potential mission compatibility and energy security impacts of on- installation solar energy development and the broader context for solar energy development in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts. The Department initiated the study in response to a congressional request.

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Download Full Report (PDF): Solar Energy Development on DoD Installations in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts

About SERDP and ESTCP

http://www.serdp-estcp.org

“SERDP and ESTCP are the Department of Defense’s environmental research programs, harnessing the latest science and technology to improve DoD’s environmental performance, reduce costs, and enhance and sustain mission capabilities. The Programs respond to environmental technology requirements that are common to all of the military Services, complementing the Services’ research programs. SERDP and ESTCP promote partnerships and collaboration among academia, industry, the military Services, and other Federal agencies. They are independent programs managed from a joint office to coordinate the full spectrum of efforts, from basic and applied research to field demonstration and validation.”

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