After receiving $1.9 million in federal Recovery Act funds in late September, a U.S. Navy facility in Seal Beach, California has announced the completion of a 190-kilowatt (kW) photovoltaic (PV) solar energy system.
Mounted atop a carport structure, the solar electric system is the work of Stronghold Engineering, a California-based engineering and construction company that has in recent years partnered with the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC). The company has already installed two other solar energy systems at the Navy's Seal Beach facility. Overall, Stronghold and the U.S. Navy have teamed to install more than 2,000 solar panels at the base, which together account for 6.5 percent of the Seal Beach facility's energy needs. This figure is just shy of a goal set by the 2005 Energy Policy Act calling for the facility to account for at least 7.5 percent of its energy use with renewable energy by 2013.
The newest PV system is expected to produce over 265,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean energy annually -- enough to power 15 homes for a full year. According to the U.S. Navy, the energy produced by its newest system will save the the Seal Beach base over $30,500 each year in energy costs.