Derek Ray 5:51 p.m., May 19
Navy Makes Losing Bet on Solar
The Navy has admitted it failed to consider whether various solar projects it awarded contracts for at several California bases were cost effective. At least, not when spending money received under President Obama's 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“Officials incorrectly concluded that cost effectiveness was not required for planning Recovery Act energy projects,” says a report by the Pentagon’s inspector general.
So the Navy proceeded to green-light numerous projects that will cost far more than the power they’ll generate is worth. Locally, Naval Base Coronado and Naval Air Facility El Centro had the most efficient projects – they’ll generate enough energy over the next 20 years to pay 28% and 24% of the installation costs, respectively. Naval Base Point Loma expects to get back only 21% of what it invested into solar, and Naval Base San Diego will recoup only 16 cents on every dollar invested.
The Marine Corps did a little better on making cost effective investments, they hope to recover 39% of the cost of an installation at Camp Pendleton.
Overall, the Navy expects to lose about $25.1 million dollars of its $50.8 million investment.