Leadership from Georgia Power, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives (OEI) and the General Services Administration (GSA) and elected representatives witnessed the groundbreaking of a new 30MW “Fort Benning” solar project at the base. The solar facility is the first of three separate Georgia Power solar projects currently in development on Georgia Army bases. Each project will be 30 MW in size and will produce energy for the state's electric grid. The projects are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016.
As part of the review and approval of the company's 2007 Integrated Resource Plan, the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) approved the development of three cost-effective renewable projects of up to 30 MW to be owned by Georgia Power. The three projects will be brought online at or below the company's avoided cost, the amount projected it would cost the company to generate comparable energy from other sources. Future groundbreaking events for the remaining two projects are expected to take place at Fort Gordon near Augusta and Fort Stewart near Savannah.
At the event, Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power, noted the importance of the project to Georgia, as well as the extensive collaboration between the utility, the state's PSC and the U.S. Army needed to bring the project to construction.
"Georgia military bases like Fort Benning are not only critical for national security, but also are community cornerstones vital to our state's continued economic wellbeing," said Bowers. "The future benefits of this solar project to the base, as well as all other innovative Georgia Power programs which enhance Georgia's position as a solar leader, have been made possible thanks to the leadership and foresight of the commissioners at the PSC and our focus on constructive, proactive energy planning."