1.1-MW Fort Bragg floating solar project nears completion

The Southeast’s largest floating solar power plant will soon produce power at the United States Army’s Fort Bragg in North Carolina. The 1.1 MW solar installation is the result of a utility service contract with: Duke Energy and his main contractor Ameresco

Credit: Duke Energy

The floating array is part of a $36 million contract that focused on energy resilience and security at Fort Bragg, including infrastructure upgrades, lighting and water upgrades, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and boiler system improvements.

“Duke Energy’s work with Fort Bragg will lead to better energy efficiency and cost savings at the grassroots level,” said Brian Savoy, Duke Energy’s chief strategy and commercial officer. “We are excited to help Fort Bragg lead the way in renewable energy innovation through this unique floating solar facility.”

The Floating Solar System is built on Big Muddy Lake at Camp Mackall. Fort Bragg will own and operate the solar system.

“We are grateful for our relationship with Duke Energy and Ameresco,” said Colonel Scott Pence, garrison commander of Fort Bragg. “With this system, the largest floating solar panel in the Southeast, we will be able to power Fort Bragg’s operations from renewable sources. With this partnership, Fort Bragg will have not only renewable electricity, but also energy security that comes from will be critical in continuing the installation’s mission during a power outage.”

The floating solar installation is linked to a 2 MW energy storage system. The system supplies power to Fort Bragg from the local grid and provides power during power outages.

“The opportunity to implement this innovative use of clean energy technology for a notable military base like Fort Bragg was one that our Federal Solutions team was delighted to lead,” said Nicole Bulgarino, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Federal Solutions at Ameresco. “The completed floating solar system – still an underutilized technology in the US – will ensure the military’s mission of clean energy. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Duke Energy and Fort Bragg and working to identify additional state-of-the-art capabilities to reduce plant energy consumption and enhance resilience.”

Currently, 2% of new solar installations are floating projects, but the nation has more than 24,000 man-made bodies of water that could be useful for floating solar development.

“This project fulfills the commitment we made in our Army Climate Strategy to increase resilience while delivering clean energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said the Honorable Rachel Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment. “When we partner with local utilities and industry to advance energy resilience while powering the local grid, this is a winning solution across the board.”

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