Georgia Power plans three large solar facilities on U.S. Army bases in Georgia. The planned solar facilities, each capable of producing approximately 30 MW AC of solar energy, should be completed by the end of 2016 and are expected to be the largest solar generation facilities operating on U.S. military bases.
Big solar has been arriving in Georgia, and more is on the way. Utility Georgia Power today announced plans to build, own, and operate three separate solar generation facilities on U.S. Army bases in Georgia.
Georgia Power, like many large utilities, has not been the friendliest to rooftop solar. Also, like many large utilities, it’s getting into the big solar game. Many are doing so to meet renewables requirements; with or without those requirements, utilities seem to want to take control of a power source that’s becoming big.
Georgia Power says it has the largest voluntary solar portfolio in the nation. The company’s announcement was made as part of its updated Renewable Resource Action Plan filed with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC).
The U.S Army is also a huge solar adopter, so the bases provide a natural fit for solar projects.
The planned solar facilities, each capable of producing approximately 30 MW AC of solar energy, will be located at Fort Stewart near Savannah, Fort Benning near Columbus, and Fort Gordon near Augusta. Scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016, the facilities are expected to be the largest solar generation facilities operating on U.S. military bases.
Utilities bringing in big solar are quick to point out the cost-effectiveness of large installations.
“Through constructive regulation and thoughtful energy policy planning, Georgia is leading the way in developing cost-effective solar generation for customers,” said Norrie McKenzie, vice president of renewable development for Georgia Power. “The agreement with the U.S. Army not only marks another step for Georgia Power’s solar initiatives, but further enhances the state’s position as a solar leader and will strengthen both the bases and the surrounding communities.”
As part of the review and approval of the company’s 2007 Integrated Resource Plan, the Georgia PSC approved the development of three cost-effective renewable projects of less than 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.
By 2016, Georgia Power estimates it will have a solar portfolio of nearly 900 MW. In addition to the new solar projects with the U.S. Army, the company anticipates more than 500 new solar projects will be brought online in the coming years through existing solar programs including the Large-Scale Solar initiative and Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative.