SOLAR POWER FOR THE MILITARY
Independent Power Systems designed, procured and commissioned two PV grid-tie systems for the American naval and air force base on the remote Indian Ocean island Diego Garcia. The first system installed in 2010 has Kyocera PV modules. The second installation in early 2016 has SunPower PV modules. Both types of modules are proven technologies that can handle the challenging tropical environment of the South Pacific. Key to winning the second bid was IPS’s design which was superior to that requested in the RFP. IPS chose to go with multiple string inverters versus a single central inverter. This ensures not only superior production benefits but also makes future inverter replacement and repairs much easier considering the challenging shipping logistics.
Both systems are performing well and accomplishing the goal of reducing the base’s dependence on diesel fuel while taking advantage of the abundant clean and free fuel, sunshine of the South Pacific.
For profound insight into the challenge and growing national security issue that is the military’s dependence on oil, watch The Burden.