We don’t need no stinkin’ coal! Fort Bliss is right on the money with their visionary plan to build a 1-gigawatt (yes, that’s what the article says), 10 square mile solar farm at Fort Bliss by 2010. That’s a big solar farm, and supposedly, the largest solar farm in existence is the 12-megawatt one in Germany. Various projects and technology development will continue under a partnership between Fort Bliss and the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. The new technology, including a controller than can extract energy even on overcast days, should cut the cost of solar energy in half.
U.S. Representative Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas) says the coal plants may not be necessary if the solar technology lives up to expectations. The plan is to start powering Fort Bliss, and later, energy can be pumped into the national power grid to be exported nationwide. In January 2007, post engineers will begin installing a 1.5 megawatt system. After that, the project should explode with 20 megawatts in 2007, 40 megawatts in 2008, and 1 gigawatt in 2009.
"The new technology, which has been in development for about three years, is already charging the battery packs of soldiers in the 18th Airborne Corps and the 75th Ranger Regiment in Iraq and Afghanistan, Tudor said. That equipment includes hood-mounted Humvee panels that also can charge the vehicle’s battery, pack-mounted systems that charge batteries as a soldier walks, and tent-mounted systems that can provide power for a heated sleeping pad and to charge other batteries." via El Paso Times. See also KVIA News Report.