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Phoenix VA Med Center Plans Largest Solar Carport Installation

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at its Phoenix Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, plans to install a 3.003-megawatt (MW) DC solar electric system. This project will expand a 630-kW carport system currently under construction by SunWize Systems at the site.

The completed installation is expected to generate over 5.7 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy annually. This reduction in energy demand from the electric grid is equivalent to the reduction of more than 7.6 million pounds of CO2 emissions annually.

According to SunWize, the system will be the largest photovoltaic (PV) carport installation in the U.S. when the second phase of construction is completed.

In June, the VA Health Care System in Albuquerque, NM, announced it was installing a 3.2 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) system, including include a car port and roof-mounted arrays.

The Phoenix VA Medical Center project is one of a number of systems now under contract with SunWize as a part of the VA’s effort to use renewable energy and improve energy efficiency. The Veteran’s Administration announced in September that it will consider sustainability and energy efficiency in all its purchases.

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2 thoughts on “Phoenix VA Med Center Plans Largest Solar Carport Installation

  1. Congratulations to the VA and SunWize on deploying yet another multi-MW capacity solar aray. Something the business community is able to do with current low-cost money, favorable depreciation schedules, and the ITC combined with state and local incentives.

    Meanwhile millions of residential rooftops remain empty, waiting for a viable financial model to deploy solar.

    At the residential level in the US even when assuming electricity costs of $0.14/kWh, a $2.5/W utility incentive, and the 30% ITC the installed cost required to achieve a five-year break-even on avoided energy purchases is in the range of $4.50 a watt.

    Today that is far from reality. Most quotes we are seeing are in the range of $9.25 – $10+/W installed.

    People are not willing to pay more for their energy.

    Further – given the large CAPEX investment required on the front end the lost opportunity costs associated with that investment off-set any potential increase in the future cost of energy.

    Simply put, investing $25,000 at 0% return to avoid a potential (though not statistically correct) future increase in energy costs of 6% on an annual energy bill of $600 to $1000 is a very poor investment. One is always financially better off to invest the $25,000 in almost any other market play including oil & gas exploration or for that matter any solid wind-turbine/renewable/green industry mutual fund, and use their after-tax return to more than offset any future increase in energy costs.

  2. While people are dying waiting for appointments with VA doctors, the VA decides that it would make sense to spend way more money on electricity.

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