Fort Bragg opens largest solar array in the southeast

United States Army leaders cut the ribbon to what’s being called the largest floating solar array in the southeast.

The solar system is located on the Big Muddy Lake at Camp Mackall. It will operate as a supplemental and backup power source for the airfield.

“This allows uninterrupted operations on Mackall Airfield, providing redundancy to this part of the energy grid so important. Because if a tree goes down and breaks a powerline, it could cutoff power for a short time,” Col Scott Pence, Fort Bragg Garrison Commander said.

This was a collaboration effort among Fort Bragg, Duke Energy and Ameresco for a solar system, the first of its kind in the Department of Defense.

“So this project was a very innovative way to bring solar energy not only to Fort Bragg but to a remote site,” Nicole Bulgarino, Executive Vice President of Ameresco said.

Fort Bragg said this is all part of its climate and clean energy plan to conserve both energy and water. Leaders at Duke Energy said with high fuel prices right now, using solar energy will cut down the electric bill.

“I think this might open the door to businesses to say ‘What about the top of my warehouse? Can I put solar there?’ Which is space I’m not using today,” Brian Savoy, CCO for Duke Energy said.

Fort Bragg is expected to save up to $100,000 on energy using the floating solar array.

“These assets don’t have fuel, so you don’t have the volatility that you have with fuel. You know the cost of the asset over the life,” Savoy also said.

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