Lockheed Martin on April 22 observed Earth Day with a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of its solar energy testbed. The testbed supports Lockheed Martin's work in utility-scale renewable power.
The Solar System Test and Engineering Site (SolSTES) array in southern New Jersey enables Lockheed Martin engineers to integrate and test a variety of solar technologies in a high-fidelity test environment. Design and construction of the testbed began in early 2008. Today the facility is a full-scale, functional solar collector assembly, 100 meters long and three stories high, consisting of highly reflective mirrors and solar receivers.
"Through this solar field testbed, we're applying for the utilities the same systems engineering and disciplined integration approach that we do for all of our domestic and international customers," said Chris Myers, Lockheed Martin vice president for Solar Energy programs. "Utility-scale solar power is another way our highly-skilled workforce can help solve a critical security challenge facing our nation. The testbed enables us to validate solar collector technologies and optimize our production skills."
In November 2007, Lockheed Martin teamed with the Starwood Energy Group to provide utility-scale solar power in North America. Lockheed Martin is responsible for engineering, procurement, manufacturing and systems integration. Starwood is primarily responsible for arranging long-term power purchase agreements, site selection, permitting, and for providing construction, permanent debt and equity financing.
Since the teaming agreement was signed, Lockheed Martin and Starwood have been pursuing multiple utility-scale opportunities, and have invested in land acquisition, transmission, permitting, supplier base, technology development, and efficient, low-cost production techniques. The teaming arrangement positions Lockheed Martin and Starwood to provide clean, renewable energy throughout the United States.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 146,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2008 sales of $42.7 billion.