ROOFTOP, CARPORT SYSTEM
U.S. Army Laboratory Center, Adelphi, Md.
- System Specs | 2 MW | Three carports = 1.7 MW | Two roof-mount systems = 300 kW
- System Production | 2,200 MWh in its first year
- Environmental Benefits | The energy production will offset: The greenhouse gas emissions from 2,601 passenger vehicles driven for one year | The CO2 emissions from 13,138,753 pounds of coal burned | The carbon sequestered by 11,655 acres of forests in one year
Providing The Best For U.S. Soldiers
As it has throughout its history, the U.S. Army is blazing trails. Now it’s winning with renewable energy.
A 2010 report called “Army Energy Vision 2017” charged all Army installations to obtain at least 25 percent of their energy from renewable or alternative energy sources by 2025. The Army Laboratory Center has taken this charge and seeking to achieve it through a combination of energy efficiency, cogeneration plans and onsite solar generation. Located 10 miles north of Washington D.C., Adelphi Labs consists of more than 200 acres and 36 buildings to support research and other military-related entities like the Army Reserve.
With space limited but demand high for renewable onsite energy, the base decided to install solar panels on three parking lots and two rooftops, for the capacity to produce 2 megawatts (MW) of electricity total.
Standard Solar was selected as the general contractor on the project and therefore oversaw all five installations on the base. The two rooftop projects provided few difficulties, especially since Standard Solar contracted with best-in-class equipment providers for racking, inverters and modules. Using a ballasted racking system complemented the relatively new roofs. Security and safety were key for the base and Standard Solar delivered; the installation went smoothly once cranes lifted all the materials on the roof work went unseen to daily base operations.
The carports, however, were a slightly different challenge. Parking at the laboratory has always been at a premium and active, so the base commander expressed concerns about how staff and visitors would be able to park at the facility while the carports were installed.
The more than 2 MW solar PV system combined with other base infrastructure improvements helped Adelphi go from not having any renewable energy to having more than enough to reach its mandated 25-percent goal eight years ahead of schedule. It produced 2,200 MWh in its first year and offset the CO2 emissions from 13,138,753 pounds of coal burned. And most importantly, it allowed the base to deliver benefits to its soldiers that are at the heart of its mission.
“We’re here to support the community of tenants that we have on the [base] the best we can,” said J. David Choat, a public-affairs officer for Adelphi. “This system helps us do that.”