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Department of Defense says California military bases could generate 7,000MW of solar power

Feb. 1, 2012
The Department of Defense (DOD) could generate 7,000MW of solar energy equivalent to the output of seven nuclear power plants on four military bases located

The Department of Defense (DOD) could generate 7,000MW of solar energy — equivalent to the output of seven nuclear power plants — on four military bases located in the California desert, according to a study released by DOD's Office of Installations and Environment. The year-long study, conducted by the consultancy ICF International, looked at seven military bases in California and two in Nevada. It found that even though 96 percent of the surface area of the nine bases is unsuited for solar development because of military use, endangered species and other factors, the solar-compatible area is nevertheless large enough to generate more than 30 times the electricity consumed by the California bases, or about 25 percent of the renewable energy that California is requiring utilities to use by 2015. The study looks in detail at the seven DOD installations located in California's Mojave and Colorado deserts: Fort Irwin; Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake; the Marine Corps' Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range; Edwards Air Force Base; Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow; Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms; and Naval Air Facility El Centro., as well as two Air Force bases in the Nevada desert, Creech and Nellis.