Grid-Parity Solar Power for Department of Defense Installations


Objectives of the Demonstration

The objective of this project is to achieve a real Levelized Cost of Energy for a 1 MW Nanosolar solar power plant that is at or below grid parity as measured by the average utility pricing paid by Camp Roberts of the California National Guard for power from the grid.

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Technology Description

Nanosolar will utilize its commercially emerging thin film solar technology to construct a 1 MW DC-free field, ground-mounted solar demonstration project at Camp Roberts. Nanotechnology is leveraged to enable high-volume production of low-cost solar panels. CIGS (copper, indium, gallium, selenium) solar cells are printed onto aluminum metal foil with a roll-to-roll printing press using a nano-structured, electronic ink comprised of nanoparticles, resulting in a low-cost, low carbon footprint solar panel that can be competitive with grid electricity pricing.

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Implementation Issues

Department of Defense (DoD) military installations throughout the United States can benefit from competitive electricity costs and a low carbon footprint through on-site, distributed solar generation. This demonstration will showcase that U.S.-manufactured solar technology and U.S.-generated solar power can provide energy security and independence to the U.S. military. Similar projects ranging from 1 to 20 MW enable power to be produced within distribution voltage, which avoids expensive transmission step-ups and tie-ins. This range of power plant outputs could be readily constructed at DoD installations nationwide. (Anticipated Project Completion - 2013)

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Points of Contact

Principal Investigator

Mr. Merc Martinelli

Nanosolar, Inc.

Phone: 408-888-4784

Program Manager

Energy and Water


Document Types

  • Project Overview - Brief project summary with links to related documents and points of contact.
  • Final Report - Comprehensive report for every completed SERDP and ESTCP project that contains all technical results.
  • Cost & Performance Report - Overview of ESTCP demonstration activities, results, and conclusions, standardized to facilitate implementation decisions.
  • Technical Report - Additional interim reports, laboratory reports, demonstration reports, and technology survey reports.
  • Guidance - Instructional information on technical topics such as protocols and user’s guides.
  • Workshop Report - Summary of workshop discussion and findings.
  • Multimedia - On demand videos, animations, and webcasts highlighting featured initiatives or technologies.
  • Model/Software - Computer programs and applications available for download.
  • Database - Digitally organized collection of data available to search and access.