The US Department of Navy (DON) has signed an energy initiative agreement with the Commonwealth of Virginia and energy company Dominion Virginia Power (Dominion) to develop a 21MW direct current (DC) solar energy plant at Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana.

Once completed, the new facility will be able to supply renewable energy to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Governor Terry McAuliffe said: “This announcement shows that the Commonwealth is leading by example in driving the clean energy economy forward in Virginia and working to combat climate change.

“It also highlights the importance my administration places on working with our most important economic partners like the US Department of the Navy.”

Based on a power purchase agreement signed last year between the DON and Dominion, 25MW DC of solar energy will also be provided to Naval Station (NS) Norfolk.

Established in May 2014, DON's Renewable Energy Programme Office (REPO) exceeded its goal to bring 1GW of renewable energy into procurement by the end of 2015.

"Once completed, the new facility will be able to supply renewable energy to the Commonwealth of Virginia."

US Navy secretary Ray Mabus said: “Not only did we meet the 1GW goal ashore five years early, we surpassed it, reaching 1.1GW by the end of last year.

“In doing so we've achieved $90m in nominal energy cost savings, $62m in energy security hardware upgrades to bases, 170MW of access to power during outages, and 22 million tons of CO2 abated. And we are just getting started.

“Today, the State of Virginia, the Hampton Roads community, Dominion Virginia Power, and our Navy and Marine Corps are joining together to add to our success, to protect the future of NS Norfolk and NAS Oceana, and to enhance national security for the American people.”

The successful procurement of the renewable energy by REPO increases DON's energy resiliency as well as energy security.

Image: Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signs energy initiative agreement. Photo: courtesy of U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Yarborough/Released.