Construction On Solar Array Has Begun At AFA

By: Rick Montanez Email
By: Rick Montanez Email

The U.S. Air Force Academy is starting a conversion to solar power. Construction of a new $18 million solar array has begun.

When the project is complete, several thousand metal posts will be put up in land along Interstate 25, north of the N. Academy off-ramp.

Solar panels will cover each of those posts and will convert sun light into electricity.

The project is a joint effort between the city of Colorado Springs and the AFA, which was announced in July 2009.

The solar panels will cover at least 30 acres of AFA land, with the possibility of expanding to 80 acres. The plan is for Colorado Springs Utilities to help the AFA become more energy independent.

The huge solar array is expected to produce about 14 percent of the academy's energy supply. Within a few years, the AFA is hoping to supply all of its own electricity.

The project is being paid for using federal stimulus money.

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  • by Helen Thomas on Jun 27, 2011 at 08:46 PM
    The people are loosing their moral while becoming modern. The society needs to be attentive that moral value. Well, it shocking and needed and immediate attention to short out at the earlier. ====================== builders
  • by mag Location: California on Apr 2, 2011 at 10:51 AM
    Money from you and me to fund "green" solar panels which: 1) Contain toxic materials and can harm the enviornment if not disposed of correctly at end-of-life, 2) Reflect bright glare at certain times of day which is unhealthy for humans as it may cause “discomfort glare” -- a psychological disturbance and suffering to humans who are subjected to it and “disability glare” which impairs human vision to the point where visual sensitivity and performance decline, 3) Attract insects to the point which may cause a significant change to the environment.
  • by Zach Location: Castle Rock, CO on Jan 26, 2011 at 05:57 PM
    Rick, 18 Million to only reduce the power bill by 14%. I agree with others, wasted Gov't spending.
  • by Steve Location: Colorado Springs on Jan 16, 2011 at 08:36 PM
    How long do you suppose it will take to reach $18M in energy savings? Will those solar panels still be working at that time?
  • by Rick Location: Alexandria, VA on Jan 8, 2011 at 07:22 AM
    Get a clue Roger! Who do you think is going to build the solar array??? A private construction company who employs private citizens. Also, who do you think pays the Academy electricity bills right now??? That's right, you and I as taxpayers. This project will reduce those utility bills and pay back the cost of the project and save taxpayer money for years to come. The government gave a lot of stimulus money to the military for construction projects in the US because construction work employs a lot of private citizens and the military had a lot of projects ready to build (unlike most of the states who had trouble executing their stimulus construction money quickly).
  • by Jacob Location: Palmer Lake on Jan 6, 2011 at 05:10 PM
    I caught my first glimpse of the new blight at I-25 and N. Academy, i.e., the new solar array project, the other day, and the absolute first thought that entered my brain was "Wow there is going to be some serious, and incredibly dangerous, glare coming off those panels for the northbound I-25 traffic." I see below that I am not the first to comment on this. I also second the worry about those glass panels blowing off in our high wind conditions and blowing onto I-25. I hope the AFA and construction company has some serious insurance liability lined up!
  • by Bill Location: Fairfax, VA on Jan 6, 2011 at 01:59 PM
    What scar are you referring to? I lived in C. Springs for eight years....the only scar I recall is the one above C. Springs and Rockrimmon where civilians did strip mining decades ago. And the Academy itself is a beautiful set of clean, well-designed buildings. Do you prefer the sets of McMansions that have been climbing up the hills beyond RockRimmon for 20 years, encroaching on wildlife habitat and leading to increased wildlife killings. Get your facts straight, dude.
  • by Roger Location: Colorado Springs North on Dec 30, 2010 at 07:40 AM
    This is an example of government spending and corruption at it's finest. The question becomes, why is it that the Federal Stimulus Money, which was designed to bring people out of a recession, is going to assist a Federal Branch of the Military in the amount of eighteen million dollars? Seems to me that something is wrong here hence we as citizens ultimately pay for everything in the end. I'm all for solor power, but not for the benifit of the government, for the government, at the expense of the citizens of tomorrow.
  • by Larry Location: Colorado Springs on Dec 29, 2010 at 09:24 AM
    I hope the Academy isn't building in the areas designated as restoration sites under the environmental restoration program. That program should be monitored by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the land designated is supposed to be off-limits for development.
  • by Keith Location: Monument on Dec 29, 2010 at 07:44 AM
    First the ugly scar on the mountain and now a blight on the landscape. They could have covered the gravel pit scar with the solar array and have only one blight. What next?
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