Solar project developer HelioSage Energy and electric utility Gulf Power Company are teaming up to develop three large-scale solar projects across Northwest Florida totaling 120 MW.
The companies are partnering with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy to develop the solar facilities on three military sites along the Florida Gulf Coast. Once constructed, the projects will serve as the three largest PV solar facilities in Florida, and among the largest solar projects east of the Mississippi.
Following approval by the Florida Public Service Commission, HelioSage will develop, finance and operate the solar projects. Gulf Power — a Florida-based subsidiary of Southern Company — will buy the electricity generated by the facilities under a long-term energy purchase agreement. Collectively, the solar facilities will produce enough energy to power more than 18,000 homes each year.
Virginia-based HelioSage, a national developer of utility-scale solar projects, will construct the solar facilities at Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach (30 MW), Holley Naval Outlying Landing Field in Navarre (40 MW), and Saufley Naval Outlying Landing Field in Pensacola (50 MW). Construction is slated to begin early next year, with commercial operation scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2016.
"These projects serve as another example that large-scale solar has become a cost-effective, proven technology, and one that will play a major role in the energy future of not only the Sunshine State, but the nation," said Chris Quarterman, HelioSage’s vice president of strategy.