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Army Deploys Largest Floating Solar Array in Southeast at Fort Bragg

June 10, 2022 by Dan McCue
This solar array, the largest floating system in the Southeast, will provide carbon-free on-site energy at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. (U.S. Army)

FORT BRAGG, N.C. – The U.S. Army held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday to celebrate the deployment of a floating solar array that not only is a first of its kind for the Department of Defense, but is also the largest such system in the Southeast.

Rachel Jacobson, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, was among the dignitaries on hand to participate in the milestone event.

“This project fulfills the commitment made in our Army Climate Strategy to increase resilience while delivering clean energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Jacobson said. 

“When we collaborate with local utilities and industry to promote energy resilience while powering the local grid, it is a winning solution across the board,” she added.

The 1.1-megawatt floating solar system is a collaboration among Fort Bragg, Duke Energy and Ameresco, a firm specializing in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

Located on the Big Muddy Lake at Camp Mackall on Fort Bragg, the new facility also includes a 2MW/2 megawatt-hour battery energy storage system. 

An electronic “recloser,” funded by the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program, is also being demonstrated as part of the system. 

Reclosers respond to transient events, like a tree limb brushing against a power line, to quickly reset the system and restore power. 

This technology provides better protection for system power lines and minimizes damage to sensitive electronic equipment in the event of power interruption.

The project will provide carbon-free on-site generation, supplement power to the local grid, and provide backup power for Camp Mackall during electricity outages.

Fort Bragg is the largest military installation by population in the Army and is the home of Airborne and Special Operations forces, with approximately 49,000 military personnel, 11,000 civilian employees and 23,000 family members.

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