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Army's $16.8M solar panel-project to supply power at New Mexico missile range

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By The Associated Press
Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 7:16 p.m.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Army dedicated its largest solar energy-producing system on Wednesday at White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico.

The $16.8 million array includes nearly 15,500 sun-tracking solar panels spread across 42 acres. It will be capable of producing 10 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year — enough to meet about 10 percent of the need of the missile range.

With abundant sunshine, New Mexico made an ideal site for the project, said the garrison commander, Col. Leo Pullar, one of the officials who attended the ceremony.

“This project illustrates the U.S. Army's commitment to going green, our focus on operating on net zero energy, and doing what we can to help protect the environment,” Pullar said.

Other electricity generating stations fueled by renewable resources have been developed on a handful of Army installations around the country.

Federal law requires at least 7.5 percent of an installation's total electricity consumption to include energy produced by renewable resources.

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