Leaders from Georgia Power and the U.S. Army joined elected officials, community leaders and other dignitaries at Fort Stewart near Hinesville, Georgia on December 9 to dedicate a new 30MW on-base solar facility.
The 30MW alternating current, or 42MW direct current, solar generation facility is the fourth completed by Georgia Power in collaboration with the military, joining similar on-base solar facilities recently unveiled with the U.S. Army at Forts Benning and Gordon, as well as the Department of the Navy (DON) at Naval Submarine Base (SUBASE) Kings Bay.
Georgia Power is currently developing more than 150 MW of solar generation to serve the state's electric customers through five large-scale projects with the U.S. Army and DON. Construction of the fifth project at Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) Albany is currently underway.
"Completing the third and final installment of our collaborative 3x30 solar program with the U.S. Army is a tremendous accomplishment for our company and our customers who will benefit from this energy source," said Norrie McKenzie, vice president of renewable development for Georgia Power. "Since we announced these projects in May of 2015, the Army has been a steadfast partner and truly recognizes the importance of renewable energy for the base, the community, the state and the country."
The Fort Stewart solar facility was built and is owned and operated by Georgia Power with energy delivered to the state's electric grid at or below the company's avoided cost (the amount projected it would cost the company to generate comparable energy from other sources). Including related transmission and distribution infrastructure, the solar project at Fort Stewart occupies 250 acres, utilizes approximately 139,200 ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) panels and is estimated to represent a $75 million investment at the installation.
In coordination with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC), Georgia Power continues to develop renewable energy as part of a diverse generation portfolio through programs designed to prevent upward pressure on customer rates. Through the company's various solar initiatives, millions of solar panels are being added to Georgia's energy landscape. Most recently, Georgia Power received approval from the Georgia PSC to add up to 1,600 MW of new renewable generation by 2021, as well as new demonstration projects to study wind and solar generation opportunities as part of its 2016 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).