Holloman opens solar array

  • Published
  • By Byline: Tech. Sgt. Matthew Rosine
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs Office

Holloman opened its first major photovoltaic solar array during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on base Oct. 19.

The Holloman Atlas Solar Array is a 5 megawatt-hour facility providing power to more than 1,300 facilities on base.

Due to the hard work of the military and civilian partners involved, the facility was built at no cost to the Air Force.

“We often talk about teamwork within an organization but rarely focus on teamwork between partner organizations,” said Col. Joseph Campo, 49th Wing commander. “The PV array is the product of over five years of cooperation and true teamwork between the El Paso Electric company, the Air Force Civil Engineer Center and Holloman Air Force Base. The significance of this teamwork cannot be overstated.”

The 42-acre array was designed and built to meet 50 percent of Holloman’s peak summer, daytime electrical demand and 100 percent of the base’s winter, daytime demand.

It is expected to eliminate large portions of future demands valued at more than $850,000 for fiscal year 2018.

 “The addition of this clean energy resource will enhance our resiliency and ability to better equip our installation while at the same time saving on tax payer costs,” said Lt. Col. Joel Purcell, 49th Civil Engineer Squadron commander. “In addition to enhancing our installation, we are reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. By decreasing this dependence, we are strengthening and increasing our national security.”

The array will support both Holloman and Air Education and Training Command’s goals for mission resiliency and environmental impact. It will contribute to the Air Force’s one Gigawatt renewable energy goal, the Department of Defense’s 10 USC 2911 renewable energy goal and Congress’ Energy Policy Act of 2005.

After more than two years of collaboration and cooperation, Holloman and its partners overcame many stumbling blocks so that today the base can put more focus on its unique training mission and taking care of its dedicated people.

“In life, doing the right thing is often not synonymous with doing the easy thing,” said Campo. “Instead, the team decided to take on the challenge of doing the right thing. They embraced the challenge and figured out a way to get to where we are today.”