Leadership from Georgia Power and the Department of the Navy recently joined elected officials, community leaders and other dignitaries at Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) Albany to mark the start of construction for a new 31 megawatt (MW) alternating current (AC) (44 MW direct current) solar generation facility. The MCLB Albany project is the fifth large-scale solar project to be built, owned and operated by Georgia Power on Georgia military bases for a total of 166 MW AC.
“This project will generate solar energy as part of a diverse generation mix, while providing security for the base and a positive economic impact in the local community,” said Kenny Coleman, senior vice president of marketing for Georgia Power. “The projects we are developing on our state’s military bases are great examples of renewable energy growth being driven by collaboration and innovative partnerships.”
Spanning 150 acres on the MCLB Albany base, the facility will utilize approximately 138,000 ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) panels to deliver energy to the state’s electric grid. The site is expected to come online within a year and to 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. The solar project at MCLB Albany is estimated to represent a $75 million investment at the installation and will enable the DON to meet critical energy and security goals.
“This project, our second collaboration with Georgia Power, will help to enhance the energy security of MCLB Albany,” said the Honorable Dennis V. McGinn, assistant secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations & Environment. “It is these partnerships that have yielded such high value for the Department of the Navy, our installations and the surrounding communities. As we begin to tighten our focus on energy resiliency, these projects will be the foundation of energy security on our bases.”
Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, Jr., vice-chair of the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC), also delivered remarks at the event noting the PSC’s efforts to bring the solar projects to Georgia and encourage solar development in the state while keeping electric rates low for customers. Other speakers at the event included Lt. Gen. Michael G. Dana, deputy commandant of the Marine Corps, Installations and Logistics and Col. James C. Carroll III, commanding officer, MCLB Albany.
Georgia Power continues to add solar to its generation portfolio through programs designed to prevent upward pressure on customer rates. In coordination with the Georgia PSC, thousands of new solar panels are being installed across Georgia as part of the MCLB Albany and Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay projects with the DON; at Forts Gordon, Stewart and Benning with the U.S. Army; and through the competitive Advanced Solar Initiative (ASI) Prime program. Most recently, Georgia Power proposed 525 MW of new renewable generation by 2019 as part of its 2016 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and new demonstration projects to further study wind and solar generation opportunities in the state.
A leader in renewable development, Georgia Power was recently named to the Smart Electric Power Alliance’s (SEPA) annual Top 10 Utility Solar list in recognition of solar connections to the state’s electric grid in 2015 and was previously named the 2014 Investor-Owned Utility of the Year by the organization.