The Southeast’s largest floating solar plant will be producing power soon at the U.S. Army’s Fort Bragg in North Carolina after a major utility energy service contract with Duke Energy and its prime contractor Ameresco. The $36million contract included the installation of a 1.1 MW solar power plant. This contract was designed to improve Fort Bragg’s energy resilience and security. It also included infrastructure modernization and lighting upgrades.
“Duke Energy’s work with Fort Bragg will lead to better energy efficiency and cost savings at the base,” says Brian Savoy, Duke Energy’s chief strategy and commercial officer. “We’re excited to help put Fort Bragg at the forefront of renewable energy innovation through this unique floating solar facility.”
The floating solar system was built at Camp Mackall on the Big Muddy Lake. Fort Bragg will be the owner and operator of the solar system.
“We are grateful for our relationship with Duke Energy and Ameresco,” comments Col. Scott Pence, garrison commander for Fort Bragg. “With this system, the largest floating solar array in the Southeast, we will be able to provide energy resiliency to Fort Bragg operations through sustainable resources. With this partnership, Fort Bragg not only has renewable electricity, but energy security that will be critical with continuing the installation’s mission during a power outage.”
A 2 MW battery storage system is being used in conjunction with the floating solar installation. The system will provide power for Fort Bragg and during outages of electric service.
“The opportunity to implement this innovative use of clean energy technology for a military base as notable as Fort Bragg was one that our Federal Solutions team was thrilled to lead on,” states Nicole Bulgarino, Ameresco’s executive vice president and general manager of Federal Solutions. “The completed floating solar system – still an underutilized technology in the U.S. – will assure the Army’s mission with clean energy. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Duke Energy and Fort Bragg, working to identify additional state-of-the-art opportunities to reduce the installation’s energy consumption and strengthen its resilience.” “This project fulfills the commitment made in our Army Climate Strategy to increase resilience while delivering clean energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” adds the Honorable Rachel Jacobson, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment. “When we collaborate with local utilities and industry to promote energy resilience while powering the local grid, it is a winning solution across the board.”