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Keesler powers up with innovation

Keesler leadership and project officials participate in a groundbreaking ceremony at the commissary parking lot on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Aug. 8, 2019. The ceremony introduced the project with NORESCO United Technologies, which will provide 497 solar panels on the exchange and commissary parking lot generating over 2 million kilowatts annually, as well as providing shade and shelter from inclement weather to the parked cars. It is scheduled for completion in May 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Keesler leadership and project officials participate in a groundbreaking ceremony at the commissary parking lot on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Aug. 8, 2019. The ceremony introduced the project with NORESCO United Technologies, which will provide 497 solar panels on the exchange and commissary parking lot generating over 2 million kilowatts annually, as well as providing shade and shelter from inclement weather to the parked cars. It is scheduled for completion in May 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

An artist's rendering of the new solar photovoltaic power array project is on display during a groundbreaking ceremony at the commissary parking lot on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Aug. 8, 2019. The ceremony introduced the project with NORESCO United Technologies, which will provide 497 solar panels on the exchange and commissary parking lot, generating over 2 million kilowatts annually as well as providing shade and shelter from inclement weather to the parked cars. It is scheduled for completion in May 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

An artist's rendering of the new solar photovoltaic power array project is on display during a groundbreaking ceremony at the commissary parking lot on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Aug. 8, 2019. The ceremony introduced the project with NORESCO United Technologies, which will provide 497 solar panels on the exchange and commissary parking lot, generating over 2 million kilowatts annually as well as providing shade and shelter from inclement weather to the parked cars. It is scheduled for completion in May 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Col. Heather Blackwell, 81st Training Wing commander, shakes hands with project officials during a groundbreaking ceremony at the commissary parking lot on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Aug. 8, 2019. The ceremony introduced the project with NORESCO United Technologies, which will provide 497 solar panels on the exchange and commissary parking lot generating over 2 million kilowatts annually, as well as providing shade and shelter from inclement weather to the parked cars. It is scheduled for completion in May 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Col. Heather Blackwell, 81st Training Wing commander, shakes hands with project officials during a groundbreaking ceremony at the commissary parking lot on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Aug. 8, 2019. The ceremony introduced the project with NORESCO United Technologies, which will provide 497 solar panels on the exchange and commissary parking lot generating over 2 million kilowatts annually, as well as providing shade and shelter from inclement weather to the parked cars. It is scheduled for completion in May 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Col. Marcia Quigley, 81st Mission Support Group commander, delivers remarks during a groundbreaking ceremony at the commissary parking lot on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Aug. 8, 2019. The ceremony introduced the project with NORESCO United Technologies, which will provide 497 solar panels on the exchange and commissary parking lot generating over 2 million kilowatts annually, as well as providing shade and shelter from inclement weather to the parked cars. It is scheduled for completion in May 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Col. Marcia Quigley, 81st Mission Support Group commander, delivers remarks during a groundbreaking ceremony at the commissary parking lot on Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Aug. 8, 2019. The ceremony introduced the project with NORESCO United Technologies, which will provide 497 solar panels on the exchange and commissary parking lot generating over 2 million kilowatts annually, as well as providing shade and shelter from inclement weather to the parked cars. It is scheduled for completion in May 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

A ceremony was held at the Keesler Air Force Base commissary parking lot August 8, to introduce a solar voltaic power array project with NORESCO United Technologies.

Over 490 solar panels are scheduled to be built on the exchange and commissary parking lot to collect energy and provide cover to parked cars from sunlight. The project was initiated by the Keesler Infrastructure Support Division to create a more efficient way of using energy at Keesler and is slated for May of 2021.

Col. Marcia Quigley, 81st Mission Support Group commander, spoke about the importance of the project.

“This is all about being more energy efficient,” said Quigley. “This will generate 1.5 megawatts of energy and can make Keesler more energy efficient long-term. This is important for dealing with storms, being cleaner and reducing utility costs.”

The project will not only generate energy all over the base, but save the Air Force money by reducing the cost of energy.

“The project is going to help Keesler reduce energy consumption by 16 percent annually, saving the Air Force about $2 million,” said Quigley.

Shawn Walsh, NORESCO Federal Business Development director, is proud of the relationship between NORESCO and Keesler.

“This project is a prime example of resiliency being enhanced by improving conditions for Airmen and their families,” said Walsh. “NORESCO is honored to continue our long-standing relationship with the Air Force as we build this project efficiently, safely and cost-effectively to support the Keesler community and the critical mission of training, developing and inspiring premier war-fighters.”

Robert Baker, 81st MSG engineering COR, believes this project has inspired a new wave of innovation as it will lead to future partnerships with NORESCO.

“This will lead to more efficient projects in the future,” said Baker. “I would select NORESCO for another project in a heartbeat.”

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