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Luke Air and APS team up to go green

PHOENIX — Arizona’s largest utility provider and Luke Air Force Base are teaming up to generate renewable energy.

APS is leasing a 100-acre plot of land from Luke Air Force Base to build a new solar power plant.

Robert Worley is the 56th Civil Engineer Squadron installation management flight chief at Luke Air Force Base. He said the new plant will be operational by the summer of 2015.

“It’ll be on some land on the southern part of the base,” said Worley. “It’s not really useful for us to build for human habitation, but it makes great land to produce energy for Arizona.”

The new solar plant is a part of an Air Force program designed to encourage utility companies to generate renewable energy and prevent the emission of greenhouse gases.

“It also means we’re just being a good partner with APS and a good neighbor to the communities surrounding us by using land that would normally just sit empty to produce power to help generate their homes,” he said.

Worley also said the new solar plant will eliminate the need to build a generating station in the West Valley.

“It’s about 10 megawatts of electrical power, and 10 megawatts is about what almost 2,500 Valley homes would consume in a year or so,” Worley said.

APS will lease the land from Luke Air Force Base for 30 years at a cost of $6 million.