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Los Angeles AFB Commissary First to "Go Green" with Solar Energy

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the commissary to dedicate a newly installed solar panel system, May 28. It’s the first commissary in the world to go solar. The photovoltaic cells will produce enough power each day to light 10 households. Pictured from left to right are:  Al Alferez, LAAFB Commissary store director; Troy Strand, vice president of Independent Energy Solutions; Scott Simpson, director, Defense Commissary Agency West; Tawny Tran, project manager, Innovative Technical Solutions Inc.; Col. David Raths, 61st ABW vice commander; Rick Page, acting director, Defense Commissary Agency; Ed Wilson  61st CELS project officer; and Mike Garabroni, quality control manager, Innovative Technical Solutions Inc. (Photo by Lou Hernandez)

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the commissary to dedicate a newly installed solar panel system, May 28. It’s the first commissary in the world to go solar. The photovoltaic cells will produce enough power each day to light 10 households. Pictured from left to right are: Al Alferez, LAAFB Commissary store director; Troy Strand, vice president of Independent Energy Solutions; Scott Simpson, director, Defense Commissary Agency West; Tawny Tran, project manager, Innovative Technical Solutions Inc.; Col. David Raths, 61st ABW vice commander; Rick Page, acting director, Defense Commissary Agency; Ed Wilson 61st CELS project officer; and Mike Garabroni, quality control manager, Innovative Technical Solutions Inc. (Photo by Lou Hernandez)

Los Angeles Air Force Base -- Air Force Space Command's Los Angeles Air Force Base and the Defense Commissary Agency took a huge step May 28 towards "Going Green" when representatives from the base and senior leaders from DeCA held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate a newly installed photovoltaic power system on the roof of the commissary at the base.

The facility was chosen because of the location's abundant sunshine and became the first commissary in the world to use the solar-energy system that will produce approximately 290 kilowatt-hours each day or enough electricity to power more than 10 typical households.

"The reason that the commissary here at Los Angeles Air Force Base was chosen is obvious, said DeCA's Acting Director, Rick Page. Look at today's weather. We are committed to being an environmental leader in the food marketing industry and this is just the first step."

The project was funded through the Department of Defense Energy Conservation Investment Program and its estimated cost was $853,000.

The cost of electricity in the Southern California area is high but the region's electricity supplier, Southern California Edison, offers thousands of dollars in rebates.
The rebates are funded by California Public Utilities Commission.

"We can't be more thrilled by the fact that our commissary here at Los Angeles Air Force Base was chosen as the first commissary in the world to be equipped with a solar-power energy system, said 61st Air Base Wing Vice Commander, Col. David Raths. I'm proud that our leadership here, our friends at DeCA and the contractor for this project have had the foresight to take the necessary steps as responsible stewards for the development and use of a vital public utility resource."

The Los Angeles Air Force Base Commissary has taken other steps to conserve resources by recycling plastic, cardboard and uses energy-efficient lighting.

The solar or photovoltaic energy system consists of the photovoltaic modules that resemble solar arrays for satellites in space, junction boxes, conduits, photovoltaic inverter with isolation transformer, AC/DC system disconnect switches, safety switches, combiner boxes and a data acquisition system. The system also includes a communications port to allow base intranet data access.