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Officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., to dedicate the new, 16.4-megawatt solar energy array on the grounds of the base. The set-up of photovoltaic panels, which occupies a total of some 170 acres of land at two locations, is the largest of its kind on any Defense Department installation, according to a base release. The ceremony took place on Feb. 13. The solar farm can produce enough energy annually to power 3,000 homes and save 20 million gallons of water, according to David Hutchens, president of Tucson Electric Power. In 2010, the Air Force contracted SunEdison LLC to build the solar farm. The solar energy will provide approximately 35 percent of the base's electricity needs, and is expected to reduce base utility costs by about $500,000 annually, states the release. (Davis-Monthan report by A1C Chris Massey) (See also Arizona Daily Star report.)