The United States Army has long recognized the strategic importance of energy to its mission, and is working to reduce energy consumption as well as to enhance energy self-sufficiency by drawing on local clean energy sources. The Reserves are 20% of the Total Army providing trained units and individual Soldiers using only 6% of the Total Army budget. Efficiency and effectiveness are absolutely essential to mission accomplishment.
The solar arrays support the Department of Defense’s mandate of procuring 25 percent of its total facility energy from renewable sources by 2025 (2010 NDAA).
The 63rd Regional Support Command (63rd RSC), headquartered in Mountain View, CA, contracted with Federal Prison Industries (FPI) to act as the Contracting Agency on their behalf. The primary goal of the project, to provide renewable energy, had second order benefits as well. Carports provide shaded parking for 66 vehicles as well as the option to train or stage soldiers outdoors in these two desert locations.
FPI, a U.S. government corporation, was the contracting agency and provided the system modules. Inmates from the federal prison system manufactured the solar modules, which are incorporated into federal solar arrays. FPI, also known as Unicor, helps offenders acquire the skills necessary to successfully make the transition to being to law-abiding, contributing members of society.
“I saw first-hand that we need to produce energy at home during my tour in Iraq and solar energy is a proven solution that can generate energy at home as reliably as the sun rising every day.”
COL John Handy, Retired USAR