U.S. Navy gets greener

We’ve told you how the U.S. Navy has trimmed its use of fossil fuels. Now, thanks to the nation’s biggest ever renewable energy purchase, 14 Navy and Marine Corps installations will meet one-third of their electricity needs from solar panels in the Arizona desert.

“Today we’re going to throw a switch and start getting those electrons flowing to our 14 bases,” Dennis McGinn, the assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment, said in the Washington Post. McGinn spoke from Arizona, where he was on-site for the plant’s opening ceremony.

The deal will let the Navy buy solar power at a fixed price for 25 years from the solar panel array, which is owned by Sempra U.S. Gas and Power.

“It’s going to be reliable, it’s going to be cheaper than what we’re paying for brown power, and it just diversifies our energy sources for these bases,” McGinn said.

In 2010, the United States didn’t have a single utility-scale solar photovoltaic farm. Today, there are 50.