Edwards Shines under Solar Energy Deal

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne will design and develop a 200-kilowatt high-concentration photovoltaic solar-power field on one acre of land at Edwards AFB, Calif., announced the company. HCPV is “revolutionary technology” that will contribute to “greater energy independence and energy security” for the nation, said Neeta Patel, director of the company’s energy systems, in a Nov. 13 release. P&W Rocketdyne received a contract of some $2.3 million from the Defense Department for this work, states the release. The project is meant to demonstrate the high-performance and cost-effectiveness of HCPV for use at US military installations, and ultimately by large utilities and in other industrial applications. The solar field will include a dozen HCPV units—manufactured by Semprius of Durham, N.C.—that track the sun. HCPV models have already been tested on the International Space Station and in smaller demonstrations at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, according to the company. Under a separate project, the Air Force is constructing a large solar farm at Edwards that is expected to generate between 350 megawatts and 440 megawatts of energy.