While the US government signed a contract for its biggest wind farm, the US Army dedicated its biggest solar PV project, which is also the world's largest low concentration photovoltaic solar plant.
The 4.1 megawatt solar farm is operating at Army's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Combined with a 375 kilowatt solar carport, solar will still only supply 10% of the power, but it's expected to save $930,000 a year
in energy costs.
As in the wind project announced today, Siemens is developing the project under a performance contract, where it will receive payments based on the guaranteed energy savings generated by the farm.
Solaria's ground-mounted solar panels make up the farm - its single-axis tracking system follows the sun across the sky, increasing energy yield up to 30% over fixed systems.
Dan Shugar, who is Solaria's CEO moved to the company from SunPower, where he served as president.
"Solaria is focused on taking the basic ‘Lego Block' photovoltaic cell and building efficiencies around it, with the result that energy production costs should be 10-15% less than standard PV systems. In a highly competitive market crowded by panel manufacturers with significant excess global capacity, these cost advantages are critical," says Peter Kelly-Detwiler, a contributor to Forbes.