Solar Power to Bring 50 New Jobs to Mojave Spaceport

By Douglas Messier

Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

An additional 50 jobs will be added at the Mojave Air & Space Port under a plan to locate three solar power facilities at the desert facility.

On Tuesday, the East Kern Airport District Board of Directors approved an agreement with Elecnor, Inc., of Delaware to locate solar power facilities on approximately 12 acres of land at the spaceport. The sites are located beyond the end of one of the runways and in several open areas between Mojave’s 15 rocket test sites, officials said.

Mojave CEO and General Manager Stu Witt said the airport would be able to generate revenue by selling the power. The solar power facilities would enable the airport to extend power and water services out to the rocket test sites and other areas that current lack them.

The operator of Mojave’s boneyard, where planes are stored and recycled, would be able to add 50 jobs once power is extended, Witt said. They boneyard would be able to use equipment that is currently not economic to run on generators.

Witt added that all the land is in areas where the airport cannot build structures, making it ideal for low-rise solar power facilities.

The Mojave airport is an attractive location for solar companies because environmental evaluations have already been done on the property, Witt said.

Mojave has been a center for alternative energy production. The airport already has one solar power generating facility on the grounds and thousands of wind turbines dot the mountains outside of town.