Atop A Landfill, U.S. Marine Corps Installs 1.4 Megawatt Solar System

Today, the United States Marine Corps completed its largest solar installation to date — a 1.4 megawatt ground-mounted system — that will generate electricity for Base Camp Pendleton outside of San Diego, Calif. The system was installed atop an inactive landfill.

According to a press statement from the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest: the installation should produce about 2,400 megawatt-hours (MWh) annually, or enough electricity to power 400 average U.S. homes.

The $9.4 million project is expected to save the Marine Corps at least $336,000 yearly in electricity costs, while tripling its previous solar energy capacity.

A Japanese company with significant operations in San Diego, Kyocera Solar, Inc. produced and supplied the photovoltaic modules for the system, domestically. Kyocera reported that 6,300 of its KD235 variety solar modules were used in the project, within some 225 panels.

San Diego-based integrator Synergy Electric Company installed the system in partnership with AEE Solar, a wholesale distributor of solar equipment and services. AECOM, an engineering and design firm, provided system designs.

According to 2010 research by Pew Environment Group, the U.S. Department of Defense has “set a goal of producing or procuring 25 percent of its electric energy needs from renewable sources by 2025… [and] incurs more than $1.3 billion in additional energy costs for every $10 increase per barrel rise in the world market price of oil.”