Friday, September 5, 2014
Mary Sullivan, Communications
The Fort Huachuca Military Base Solar Site, located in Sierra Vista, Arizona, will be larger than any existing solar array on any U.S. Department of Defense base in the world -- and Olsson Associates is taking part in the expansion.
Cardell Andrews, a design manager in Phoenix, said, “Being pulled into a project like Fort Huachuca is very exciting because it is another great step for Olsson as we continue to pursue the solar energy market.” The site is owned and operated by Tucson Electric Power (TEP).
Olsson Associates was asked by SBBI, Inc., to provide surveying and engineering services needed for a 44-acre parcel within the 150-acre solar site. Olsson has worked on several design-build projects at Fort Huachuca Military Base with SBBI and is a preferred contractor for the Fort.
Currently, Olsson is working on 25 acres of the parcel and is working directly with SBBI in the field to plan the design and requirements for the site preparation/panel layout. Olsson is also providing engineering plans and specification for grading, drainage, and Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans that will be reviewed by Fort Huachuca and TEP.
“Through working with SBBI over the past few years, we’ve been able to work on several exciting design-build projects,” Cardell said. “Although our role is only a small piece of the overall project, this opportunity gives us another way to continue gaining the experience we need to move into the solar energy arena.”
The power generated from the site will be enough to power one-quarter of the base’s energy needs, which is equivalent to the annual electric needs of approximately 3,100 homes. The system will offset more than 58,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year while reducing other emissions associated with generating an equivalent amount of power with fossil fuels.
Connecting to an existing substation through a single interconnection on TEP’s side of the meter allows any excess energy the system generates to flow back into the grid for use by other TEP customers. The site will also serve as the largest single-solar resource owned by TEP.