Luke Air Force Base Leases Land to APS for New Solar Power Plant


Luke Air Force Base and Arizona Public Service partner on a new solar power plant to be built on the base. The 10 MW installation is expected to generate enough electricity to power 2,500 Arizona homes.


More solar installations are appearing at military bases around the country, as the U.S military continues to lead the way in solar adoption.


Today, Luke Air Force Base and Arizona’s largest electric utility provider, Arizona Public Service, announced that they have partnered on a new solar power plant to be built on 100 acres of land located on the base. Construction of the 10 MW facility — part of the APS AZ Sun Program — is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.


APS is leasing the land from Luke AFB as part of an energy Enhanced Use Lease (EUL). Energy EULs are a partnership between the Air Force and public entities to encourage the development of renewable energy — helping the Air Force to save money while meeting congressionally established Air Force goals. APS will lease the land for 30 years from Luke AFB for $6 million.


The solar plant is expected to generate enough energy to power 2,500 Arizona homes, and to prevent the emission of 12,000-15,000 tons of greenhouse gases a year.


More than 200 local jobs will be created during the construction of the plant, which is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year. The facility will be operational, serving APS customers by summer 2015.


“Our partnership with Luke Air Force Base for this project is great for Arizona,” said Tammy McLeod, APS Vice President of Resource Management. “The solar plant will be highly visible and will set a great example of Arizona’s solar leadership for people from all over the world who live, work and train on Base. Plus, APS is proud to support the Air Force and bring more solar energy to our customers.”


“It continues a great partnership that we have with APS,” said Robert Worley, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron installation management flight chief.


Through the APS AZ Sun Program, the utility is investing in solar PV power plants across Arizona. The project at Luke AFB will join eight other AZ Sun projects that are already online or in some stage of development, totaling 170 MW of solar energy for Arizona — enough to power more than 42,000 APS customers.