Air Force, Nevada go all crazy with the solar energy

The largest solar photovoltaic plant in North America is coming soon to an Air Force base near you — if you live in Nevada. Nellis Air Force Base will install 140 acres of solar panels, powering 30 percent of its electricity needs and reducing electric bills by some $1 million a year. “It allows the Air Force to show its leadership in applying renewable energy and new technology to reduce our needs to use traditional forms of electric power,” says Maj. Don Ohlemacher. And Nevada’s got more up its solar sleeve: a 300-acre solar thermal power plant, the third-largest of its kind in the world, is going up 25 miles south of Las Vegas. (Solar photovoltaic produces electricity, while solar thermal produces heat, which can then be used to create electricity. Geek out!) Once both plants are built, says Sonya Headen of Nevada Power Co., “Nevada will be the No. 1 state in the nation on solar watts per capita and solar as a percentage of retail sales.” Is that a barely suppressed “booyah” we hear?