Fort Benning’s 30MW solar power generating facility has been officially put online on June 1. The project is the first of five on-base military solar projects currently being developed by Georgia Power in coordination with the Army and the Department of the Navy (DON).
Consisting of 134,000 solar PV panels and covering a land of over 200 acres, the project at Fort Benning is estimated to represent a US$75 million investment at the installation and will enable the Army to meet critical energy and security goals. Electricity generated from the facility will be used to power Georgia homes and businesses.
Construction of the Fort Benning project took around one year, and the opening ceremony was attended by Georgia Power, the project developer, the U.S. Army, the Army Office of Energy Initiatives (OEI), the General Services Administration and the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC).
"Since we first broke ground a year ago, this site has been transformed into a state-of-the-art solar facility that will deliver clean, reliable and affordable energy to our customers for years to come," said Norrie McKenzie, vice president of renewable development for Georgia Power at the event. "We look forward to seeing the rest of our military solar projects come online within the next year, and the positive benefits they will bring not only for our customers, but for the bases and local communities."
Georgia Power continues developing solar PV projects in its home country. The company recently proposed to add 525MW of renewable portfolio by 2019. In addition, Georgia Power plans to add demonstration projects to study wind and solar generation opportunities as part of its 2016 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), currently under review by the Georgia PSC.