Skyline Solar Awarded $1.85 Million Solar Plant Contract with the U.S. Military

January 22, 2012 by Jeff Shepard

Skyline Solar, a manufacturer of High Gain Solar CPV arrays for the commercial, industrial, government and utility markets, announced that the company has won a $1.85 million contract from the Department of Defense (DoD) and has since broken ground on the construction of Skyline Solar X14 CPV power plants at two domestic military sites.

Skyline Solar was awarded the contract in a competitive process under the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP), a program intended to identify technologies that solve key DoD needs and have the highest potential for widespread deployment. The projects will allow Skyline Solar to demonstrate the Skyline X14 System’s performance in hot sunny climates, while also validating its field upgradability and rapid system deployment capability—key considerations in Skyline Solar being awarded the contract.

"The Skyline Solar project has the potential to make a significant impact on the use of solar energy by the Department of Defense," said Dr. James Galvin, Acting Program Manager for Energy and Water, U.S. Department of Defense.

Skyline Solar’s selection for the ESTCP comes at a time when the market opportunity for solar adoption within the DoD is expanding significantly. In 2011, the Pew Charitable Trusts released a study on the DoD’s mushrooming use of renewable energy, showing 300 percent growth from 2006-2009, with an eventual annual market value of $10 billion by 2030.

"The ESTCP is helping the Department of Defense achieve its goal of bolstering national security and accelerating U.S. energy independence through the development of proven solar energy technologies, like the Skyline X14 System," said Thomas Rohrs, CEO of Skyline Solar. "The projects will demonstrate the unique effectiveness of Skyline’s X14 System in helping to meet the energy needs of our military and government institutions."

Skyline Solar appointed REC Solar as its engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) partner for the ESTCP project. REC Solar is a leading national solar power provider and integrator based in San Luis Obispo, California.

"We’re excited for the opportunity to partner with Skyline Solar on the deployment of its innovative Skyline X14 CPV System on multiple Department of Defense sites," said Lee Johnson, CEO of REC Solar. "We believe our established track record in government solar projects, combined with the turnkey nature of the Skyline X14 System will result in two successful CPV power plants that will benefit the DoD for years to come."

The Skyline X14 System, named for its ability to concentrate sunlight 14 times using durable glass reflectors, delivers an LCOE of less than ten cents per kWh in sunny climates. It is the only CPV system to incorporate field-upgradability, allowing system owners to future-proof their investment against increased cell efficiency. Upgradability increases project Internal Rate of Return (IRR) by as much as 30 percent.