Leaders from Georgia Power and the U.S. Army joined elected officials, community leaders and other dignitaries at Fort Gordon near Augusta, Ga. today to dedicate a new 30 megawatt (MW) on-base solar facility. The 30 MW alternating current, or 42 MW direct current, solar generation facility is the third completed by Georgia Power in collaboration with the military, joining similar on-base solar facilities recently unveiled with the U.S. Army at Fort Benning and 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 strategic projects with the U.S. Army and DON, including additional projects at Fort Stewart and the Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) Albany.
“The Augusta area is on the cutting edge of energy including both this state of the art solar facility, as well as new carbon free energy being developed at the Plant Vogtle expansion,” said Norrie McKenzie, vice president of renewable development for Georgia Power. “As we mark the completion of this latest project, we appreciate the Army’s continued collaboration and recognition of the importance that this new energy source will have for our customers as well as the base and the surrounding community.”
The Fort Gordon 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 Gordon occupies 270 acres, utilizes approximately 137,500 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).
A leader in renewable development, Georgia Power was recently included in 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.