A Sunny Outlook

The Air Force on Feb. 16 unveiled a new system to convert sunlight into electrical energy at Nellis AFB, Nev., giving the installation the largest solar park in the Department of Defense. The new system, Solar Array II, combined with the existing Solar Array I, is enough to power about 9,000 homes in southern Nevada and about 42 percent of the kilowatts per hour needed to power the base, according to a press release. The new array connects to an NV Energy substation on the base. Miranda Ballentine, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment, and energy, said the project makes better use of land, meets USAF renewable energy goals, saves money, and enhances mission assurance. The reduction in carbon emissions made possible by the new solar power system is equal to removing 159,867 cars from Nevada’s roads over the next 31 years, the Air Force said. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James this month told a Senate committee the service has not been focused enough on energy assurance.