Springs Utilities complete solar power plant
Colorado Springs Utilities and SunPower Corp.
announced the completion of a 6-megawatt solar photovoltaic power
system at the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs,
The project was funded in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act of 2009. It originated from requirements that federal government
facilities use increasing amounts of renewable energy as well
as USAFA’s Net Zero Initiative, which set a goal for the Academy
to generate 100 percent of the electricity it needs from on-base
renewable energy sources. SunPower and USAFA will each own 50
percent of the renewable energy credits and environmental benefits
associated with the system.
The system uses high-efficiency SunPower solar panels with the
SunPower™ T0 Tracker system. The Tracker follows the sun’s movement
during the day, increasing sunlight capture by up to 25 percent
over conventional fixed-tilt systems, while significantly reducing
land use requirements. The system has been designed to meet USAFA’s
stringent engineering design standards.
According to Environmental Protection Agency estimates, the system
at the USAFA will avoid more than 9,400 tons of carbon dioxide
emissions each year, the equivalent of removing 40,900 cars from
Colorado’s highways over 25 years.
SunPower has worked with federal agencies since 1999, and has
more than 40 megawatts of solar power systems installed or under
contract at government facilities, including systems at Nellis
Air Force Base and the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the U.S.
Department of Energy.