By Bill Couch, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Midwest Public Affairs
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mid-South officially welcomed into service the Navy's first solar-powered electric car charging station with a ribbon cutting ceremony, May 29.
NSA Mid-South Executive Officer Cmdr. Brad Meeks thanked the combined Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) and Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) team that brought the station online, and he said the new photovoltaic carports were a sign of how the base was evolving to face new challenges.
"Naval Support Activity Mid-South is leading the way," said Meeks. "This is the first solar power charging station in the Navy, and I want to thank our NAVFAC public works team for seeing this project through. Their efforts have ensured NSA Mid-South's role in building a clean, sustainable future for our Navy and our nation."
The carport will enable NSA Mid-South to recharge its current fleet of 17 electric vehicles with renewable electricity in approximately four hours, while reducing demand on the commercial power grid. In addition to charging vehicles connected through either 110V or 220V plugs, the carport will also provide excess electricity to the local power grid, further reducing the base's electricity costs.
The 150-foot-long panel structure tilts automatically to track the sun and includes several safety features to protect against high wind or lightning strikes.
Public Works Department Mid-South will monitor the carport's production via a Web-based system and will rely on the base operations support contractor to maintain the individual solar arrays and components over its expected 25-year lifespan.
NSA Mid-South's carport is part of an ongoing $10-million CNIC project to install seven sites with E85 alternative-fuel stations, nine sites with solar carports and five sites with stand-alone electric vehicle charging stations at Navy installations in the U.S. Construction began in March 2013, and was completed in late April. Since then, the carport has successfully generated enough electricity to power more than 60 typical homes for a day.
Local energy efficiency efforts like this help the Navy achieve energy efficiency goals required by presidential executive orders, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.