US Navy Buys Solar For 14 California Bases

In the largest renewable energy purchase by the US government to date, the Navy is buying solar energy to partially power 14 training centers and bases in California. 

The Navy contracted for the entire output of the 210 MW, Mesquite 3 solar project – under construction about 60 miles from Phoenix, Arizona. It will supply a third of the electricity for 14 Navy and Marine installations over the 25-year power purchase agreement.

Developer Sempra US Gas & Power is installing over 650,000 solar PV panels that track the sun. The Navy expects to save at least $90 million on energy costs over the life of the contract. It comes online by the end of 2016.


The Navy’s goal is to buy 1 gigawatt of renewable energy by the end of this year. 

All this stems from a 2009 mandate from Congress, directing the Department of Defense to achieve 25% renewable energy by 2025. DoD even raised that goal, requiring the Army, Air Force and Navy to each procure 1 GW of renewables by the end of 2015. 

The Navy’s on track to exceed that with 1.2 GW in the pipeline, and has its own goal to "produce 50% of all energy from renewables by 2020.   

It’s also moving aggressively on biofuels, announcing last year that they are the "new normal." Besides being included in all  solicitations for jet engine and marine diesel fuels, the Navy is contracting for on-site bio-refineries at bases across the world.

Read our articles, Department of Defense Integrates Climate Change Into All Operations and Almost 10% of Solar Industry Are Veterans.

Learn more about the Navy & Renewable Energy:

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