US air base goes solar with $26.6m project

Amec Foster Wheeler is to install a 750kW solar energy and battery storage system on the US Air Force’s Wake Island base. The firm has been awarded a $26.6 million […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Amec Foster Wheeler is to install a 750kW solar energy and battery storage system on the US Air Force’s Wake Island base.

The firm has been awarded a $26.6 million (£20.7m) contract, which will also involve modernising the site’s electrical distribution system, made up of around eight miles of medium-voltage electrical upgrades.

The three-square-mile airfield, located on a coral atoll in the western Pacific Ocean was the refuelling and replenishment station for the US Navy and Air Force during World War II.

It is commonly regarded as one of the US military’s most historically and strategically important assets.

Ann Massey, President of Amec Foster Wheeler’s Environment & Infrastructure business, said: “Wake Island’s tropical location means we can help the Air Force use solar energy to reduce energy costs and the importation of diesel fuel at this historic airfield.”

The US Army has recently invested in a 1MW storage system to complement a 10MW solar plant at one of its military bases.