U.S. utility Georgia Power has this week connected a 30 MW solar power plant at the Fort Benning army base near Columbus in the state of Georgia.
Having broken ground on the project a year ago, the plant is now online and producing clean solar energy to the local grid. This is the first of five military solar projects that Georgia Power is working on alongside the U.S. Army, the Army Office of Energy Initiatives (OEI), the General Services Administration, the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Department of the Navy (DON).
The Fort Benning installation was completed at a cost of $75 million, set across 200 acres and utilizing more than 130,000 modules. The plant goes some way towards helping the U.S. army to meet its critical energy and security goals, and the power produced will be delivered to the grid at or below Georgia Powers avoided cost the amount projected it would cost them to generate power from comparable sources.
"This site has been transformed into a state-of-the-art solar facility that will deliver clean, reliable and affordable energy," said Georgia Powers VP of renewable development Norrie McKenzie. "We look forward to seeing the rest of our military solar projects come online within the next year, and the positive benefits they will bring for customers, bases and local communities."
Georgia Powers additional army- and navy-backed solar projects are to be located at the Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany and Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay (for the navy), with Gordon and Stewart bases joining the Fort Benning portfolio for the army.
The utility has said that it will develop as much as 525 MW of new renewable generation capacity by 2019.