Fort Hood turns on solar field, generates renewable energy

March 29, 2012

Christine Luciano, Fort Hood DPW Environmental Outreach
United States Army

Following a ribbon cutting, the solar panel field located east of Liberty Village and south of Johnson Drive at Fort Hood, Texas, was turned on March 27, 2012. The field consists of 3,000 photovoltaic panels mounted to a steel frame that span across a four-acre site that will generate one million kilowatt-hours annually.

FORT HOOD, Texas (March 29, 2012) — After a year of planning and construction, Fort Hood and Universal Services Fort Hood Inc. activated a solar field of nearly 3,000 photovoltaic panels.

The four-acre solar field, near Liberty Village community, will generate one million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy annually for 300 single-family homes.

"We are taking the first step forward and realizing how we can be energy self-sufficient," Brig. Gen. Joseph DiSalvo, deputy commanding general, III Corps and Fort Hood, said. "This is impressive that 20 percent of the energy for Liberty Village will be provided at no cost with solar energy. We are planting a seed here that will get us on a gliding path to show other Department of Defense installations how to do this."

Last March, Universal Services Fort Hood Inc., known as USFH, approached Fort Hood with plans of a solar field.

The Fort Hood Directorate of Public Works, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Fort Worth District, and USFH explored the renewable energy opportunity.

Fort Hood extended the property lease near Liberty Village, and construction began last November.

"This has been a great partnership and investment into renewable energy," Brian Dosa, director of the Fort Hood Directorate of Public Works, said. "The Army and Fort Hood are moving forward toward building more sustainable facilities. When we have the opportunity to build something new or have a major renovation, we want to include energy efficient mechanics and renewable energy as much as we can and set Fort Hood for success."

The $3 million project did not cost the Army or the taxpayers anything.

The contractor, USFH, is solely responsible for financing, constructing, operating and maintaining the solar array and equipment. Housing residents will consume the renewable energy without additional cost.

Thousands of panels will be fixated and titled to the south to maximize the sunlight. The energy will not be stored but will go directly into the grid to feed into poles tied into Liberty Village. Residents will have an opportunity to see the energy made, sent and used within their community.

"The biggest responsibility we have is supporting initiatives like this," DiSalvo said. "After we see the benefit of this, it will open up opportunities for us to expand. At Fort Hood, we are always interested in partnering with Central Texas communities and any initiative that helps us with the right causes."

As part of the Army’s challenge to pursue the Net Zero Energy goal, to produce as much energy as the installation uses, the solar field is an opportunity that will bring green electricity to military Families on Fort Hood.

DiSalvo was pleased with the limitless possibilities available with sustainable energy, and he said the post is committed to showing the nation that the Great Place is committed to energy efficiency.

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