FORT PICKETT, Va. – Brig. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia, turned the switch to send power from the newly-constructed solar array to the administrative and classroom facilities April 30, 2015, at the 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute at Fort Pickett, Va. The ceremony marks the completion of the Va. Guard’s first alternative energy project and highlights its commitment to sustainable an energy security.
“We have a tremendous partnership here at Fort Pickett with our Facilities Management Office, the garrison leadership, our tenant units and corporate partners to take bold steps forward in developing energy independence,” Williams said. “The Virginia National Guard continues to demonstrate its leadership in sustainable energy programs across the National Guard, and we will continue to look at innovative ways we can take advantage of the latest technologies to continue to move the program forward.”
The new $2.2 million, 488 kilowatt solar array measures 10,000 square yards and consists of nearly 2,000 individual solar panels and provides the RTI with nearly 80 percent of its daytime energy needs. This field is estimated to produce 712,000 kilowatt hours per year and was installed adjacent to the RTI campus. Additionally, the project has a guaranteed return of investment exceeding $2.6 million over 25 years.
Williams thanked members of the Fort Pickett-based Virginia Army National Guard Facilities Management Office, the Fort Pickett Garrison, the cadre and leaders of the 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute and members of Schneider Electric for their support and attendance at the ceremony.
In addition to the field outside of the RTI, additional carport-syle solar arrays were erected over the Virginia Army National Guard’s headquarters at Fort Pickett. These solar arrays generate almost 40% of the summertime energy needs for the building.
According to Schneider Electric, the array is performing at expected levels.
Since 2008, the Virginia Department of Military Affairs has invested more than $42 million in energy efficiency and renewable energy to help achieve its goal of becoming net zero by 2030. To that end, the Richmond-based Schneider Electric developed a net zero energy master plan for the DMA. The expected benefit to the DMA over the next 25 years is greater than $52 million in total cost avoidance.