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SunPower to build US Navy PV array

11 Nov 2011

US solar company SunPower has been contracted by the US Navy to install a 13.78MW photovoltaic (PV) array at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California.

The system is expected to generate around 30 per cent of the facility’s electricity requirement and reduce bills by around $13m over the next 20 years. SunPower will build, operate and maintain the installation which will be owned by an affiliate of Metropolitan Life (MetLife).

The Navy will buy the electricity produced through a 20 year power purchase agreement (PPA) which will cover the cost of the installation and avoid upfront payment.

Karen Butterfield, SunPower’s director of federal programs, said, ‘A 20-year PPA resulted in a significantly lower rate to the Navy over the life of the system. With more than a decade of experience working with the federal government and the most efficient solar technology available today, SunPower is confident in guaranteeing the performance of this system over the entire contract period. We are also proud to supply SunPower solar panels that are compliant with the Buy American Act.’

Jeetu Balchandani, a director in MetLife’s investments department, added, ‘MetLife recognises the benefits of being an investment partner in projects like China Lake. This project enables MetLife to further our commitment to supporting efforts that truly drive sustainability while aligning with our high quality investment philosophy. We are pleased to work with SunPower and the Navy on this important endeavor.’

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