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NASA Proposes Solar Power for Renewable Energy at Wallops
Wallops Flight Facility aerial photograph Aerial image of NASA's Wallops Flight Facility. Credit: NASA
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WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. -- NASA has proposed the installation of up to 80 acres of solar panels on the Wallops Flight Facility Main Base through an environmental assessment of alternative energy at the facility.

The Alternative Energy Project at Wallops would generate renewable electricity to assist NASA as an agency in meeting or exceeding the requirements of the 2005 Federal Energy Policy Act and various Executive Orders. The project would also be expected to stabilize Wallops’ growing utility costs and provide educational outreach regarding renewable energy technologies.

Under the Proposed Action/Preferred Alternative in the Final Environmental Assessment (EA), NASA would install up to an 80-acre system of solar panels at the Main Base that would be capable of generating 10 gigawatt-hours per year of electricity.

Additionally, two 2.4 kilowatt residential-scale wind turbines would be installed near the NASA Visitor Center and the gate/security guard station at the entrance to Wallops Island, respectively.

At full build-out, the electricity generated annually by this project would equate to approximately 850 average American homes. Given the large capital investment required for a project of this size, the proposal would not be implemented immediately in its entirety; rather it would be built in multiple smaller phases over time.

The Proposed Action differs from what was initially presented in the Draft EA. Due to substantial concerns raised by agencies and organizations regarding potential impacts on birds and bats, the two utility-scale wind turbines on Wallops Island are no longer proposed.

NASA has also prepared a Draft Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) concluding that an Environmental Impact Statement is not necessary for this project. NASA will take no final action prior to 30 days following publication of the Draft FONSI Notice of Availability in local newspapers.

The Final EA and Draft FONSI are available on the Internet at:

Wallops Release No. 11-06

Keith Koehler
NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va.