Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas hosted President Barack Obama today giving him an up close tour of the 140-acre solar photovoltaic array that has been running since December 2007. The installation at Nellis is the largest of it’s kind in the United States and an example of how solar energy can be captured and processed in a sun-soaked state.
The Nellis power plant was funded by NV Energy in return for energy credits which may be sold to other utilities. The Air Force buys their power at reduced rates and rough estimates indicate that the solar array could save the service $1 million per year or $40 million over the 40 year lifespan of the project.
While at Nellis, President Obama gave a speech at the Thunderbirds’ hanger to 400 airmen and other base personnel about the progress made during the first 100 days of the Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Obama said the expectation is that there will be more than $467 million in stimulus money used “to expand and accelerate the development, deployment and use of geothermal and solar energy throughout the United States.” Nevada is in line for more than $1.5 billion dollars in Recovery Act funds.
Today’s event followed the Tuesday night Caesars Palace fundraiser for Democratic Senator Harry Reid that the President attended.
President Obama will leave Nevada for Los Angeles later today where he will attend a Democratic National Committee fundraiser.