US Air Force base in Arizona is going green

The promise of solar energy sounds great until you get down to the real world application and realize that you need a huge number of solar panels to be able to generate a reasonable amount of energy for a typical home or business. Solar power installations are becoming more common with the US government though as they look to save money on power and help the environment.

The latest government facility to get solar power is going to be Luke Air Force base in Arizona. A company called SunPower has announced that it will be building the largest solar power system on US government property at the base. The project will create 550 local jobs during construction according to the company.

The solar installation will be placed on 101 acres of underutilized land and will be large enough to generate 50% of the annual energy requirements for the entire base. The project is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2011. The system will generate enough power for 3,750 homes and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emission by 19,000 metric tons each year.