Dubbed “Blue Going Green,” the Israeli Defense Force launched a program to reduce the country’s carbon footprint and reliance on fossil fuels by building new solar installations at as many air force bases as possible. The ambitious program seeks a net-zero-energy air force by the end of 2033. Israel’s army and air force bases would produce almost all of their energy from solar sources and institute a wide range of other environmentally-friendly technologies. The first solar-based air force facility to come online was a major base in southern Israel.

Conti Federal designed and constructed the photovoltaic (PV) power plant with a DC power rating of up to 5 MW. The team built the project’s ground-mounted solar system in modules of 1 megawatt peak aggregated power per block. Each of the modules cover an area of 4,400 square meters, leaving the potential for an array of up to 42,000 square meters in size. The plant also included a weather station tied into the solar system’s communication infrastructure and equipped with sensors to measure and monitor irradiance, temperature and wind speed.

The project team’s work on the secure, active air force base required significant security protocols and coordination with the client and air force base personnel. Conti Federal’s site security officer worked daily to ensure operations were performed in accordance with the base’s tight security specifications.

Key features of the project included:

  • Design-build
  • PV Modules: Recom
  • Inverters: SMA STP60
  • Mounting System: RBI
  • Data Acquisition System: Noveda
  • Expected Production: 5 MW
  • Installed weather station
  • Worked in active base operations
  • Managed site security