NORESCO helped break ground for a 1.5-MW solar photovoltaic (PV) carport array to be constructed at Keesler Air Force (AFB), part of a $32.7 million guaranteed energy savings performance contract (ESPC). An on-base ceremony commemorated the start of construction and how the array will move Keesler closer to its renewable energy goals.
Colonel Marcia Quigley, Commander, 81st Training Wing, delivered remarks and said: “The PV is the crown jewel of this ESPC. However, the contract is more than covered parking space and the panels. The project is going to help Keesler reduce energy consumption by 16 percent annually.”
Solar array details
The new solar array will generate over 2 million kWh annually and offset electricity currently purchased from the local utility, enhance resilience and improve mission assurance by diversifying the supply of electric power to the base. The PV array’s location close to the commissary and near the base’s new primary entry gate will prominently showcase the use of renewable energy and the base’s commitment to environmental stewardship.
The carport canopy structures will also provide shade and shelter from inclement weather to nearly 500 cars parked underneath. The carports will meet 170 mph wind design requirements and will include LED security lighting mounted under the structure.
A video monitor kiosk in the commissary lobby will display electrical system output, historical data and how the array helps reduce greenhouse gases.
The project includes other energy conservation measures that will contribute to reducing baseline energy use by more than 15% while improving energy efficiency, reducing costs and reducing maintenance requirements.
— Solar Builder magazine