File this one under “irony.” A newly erected (recreational) aquatics center at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay will soon be powered by a large solar array.
TerraSmart, a Florida based solar racking engineering design and manufacturing company, is supplying 1,100 panels for the 300kW array, which will occupy the site of an old soccer field. Installation begins in mid-June, the company says.
“We're very excited to be working on this project to save the United States government money,” said Brent Franks, Executive Vice President of TerraSmart. He suggested that the military was attracted to its integrated solution from ground mounts to panels.
The U.S. armed forces have made the adoption of renewable energy technologies a strategic priority. Last month, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn said that reducing the military’s dependence on fossil fuel sources is correlated with its ability to project power overseas.
Some of its recent projects have included pilot projects to use biofuel blends in Air Force fighter jets, hybrid Army blimps, and an entire Marine Corps unit is now functioning entirely on solar power.
TerraSmart is a likely beneficiary of a defense appropriations bill passed in January that stipulated that the military buy American made solar technologies.