US Navy to sign its largest solar PPA at 150 MW-AC


On Thursday, the U.S. Navy, the Western Area Power Administration, and Sempra U.S. Gas & Power will hold a signing ceremony for a 25-year power purchase agreement to procure electricity from the third phase of Sempra’s Mesquite Solar project in Arizona.

The U.S. military plans to use the electricity from the Mesquite project to power 14 Navy and Marine Corps bases in California, including the eight that comprise Naval Base Coronado. These stretch from the San Clemente Islands to the mountains east of San Diego, and Naval Base Coronado’s 36,000 civilian and military personnel make the Navy the largest employer in San Diego County.

Sempra’s Mesquite Solar project is located in neighboring Arizona. The first 150 MW-AC (210 MW-DC) phase was completed in December 2012, and sells power to California utility Pacific Gas & Electric Company.

Sempra plans to begin construction on Mesquite Solar 3 this month, and to complete this 150 MW-AC phase by the end of 2016. All three phases of the Mesquite Solar project will total 450 MW-AC when complete.

In late 2013, U.S. President Obama directed all agencies of the federal government to procure 20% of their power from renewable energy sources by 2020, including the U.S. military. Additionally, the U.S. Navy plans to deploy 1 GW of renewable energy projects on its installations by 2020.