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Donley officially dedicates Edwards Solar Farms

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley attended a ribbon cutting ceremony here March 27 for one of three Edwards solar plants.

James Judkins, 95th Civil Engineering Division director, explained that Edwards AFB contracted with Borrego Solar to construct and operate the plants and in turn the base purchases the electricity generated by the solar farms. By utilizing a third party, the base benefitted from
solar incentives from the State of California that are not otherwise available to the federal government.

Following the ceremony, Yusuf Ahmed and Gerald Boetsch, both of 95th CE, walked Donley through portions of the plant.

"Each of the three plants use 4,044 panels to produce DC voltage, and via two inverters converts it to AC voltage before sending it to the distribution system," Ahmed explained.

Combined, the three one-megawatt power plants will produce 6,650 MWh of electricity a year, or approximately 4.5-percent of the Edwards AFB electrical consumption.

"Right now the three plants are producing just over 12-percent of our electrical load," said Boetsch. He went onto to explain that this number will drop as the summer usage increases due to air conditioning.

"This is a great first step towards renewable energy, independence, and security," Donley said