A Florida-based aerospace and defense company has brought its new solar arrays online in Calhoun County.
General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems partnered with Today’s Power Inc. to develop the solar arrays. These 1.2 megawatt arrays collectively use approximately 6,400 Tier 1 solar panels, and the arrays are expected to generate 91 million kilowatt-hours over the course of 25 years. This will result in a carbon reduction of 64,341 metric tons.
The solar arrays will power General Dynamics’ Camden facilities, which features more than 880,000 square feet of manufacturing and storage space. Primarily, the Camden facility is an “explosive load, assemble and pack facility” that plays a role in multiple U.S. military defense programs, including the HYDRA 70 2.75 inch rocket, Hellfire, Javelin, Stormbreaker and JASSM warheads and the Modular Artillery Charge System (MACS).
“Together with our partners TPI and OECC, we have found a solution for expanding our usage of renewable energy and attaining environmental sustainability. This project not only lowers cost, but more importantly, it positively impacts our employees, our community, and the environment. This initiative is the foundation for future endeavors as we continue to reduce our Operations’ carbon footprint,” Eric Ellis, vice president of precision systems at General Dynamics-OTS, said in a statement.
Today’s Power also developed two on-site battery storage systems for Ouachita Electric Cooperative Company (OECC). These battery systems will store electricity generated from the General Dynamics solar arrays and have an output of 2.4 megawatts for two hours.
According to OECC general manager Mark Cayce, the batteries will increase the cooperative’s grid reliability and supplement distribution facilities throughout its region. “Being able to provide backup power will eventually be a requirement to provide reliability. We don’t want to be in a situation where we have to cut off people, or we’re short on generation. These issues will be taken out of the equation by the batteries,” he said.
The project was announced in June 2020, although General Dynamics reportedly began the fact-finding for the project in 2018.