Construction starts on 30-MW Georgia Power solar project at U.S. Navy base

Leadership from Georgia Power and the Department of the Navy joined other dignitaries at Naval Submarine Base (SUBASE) Kings Bay near St. Marys, Georgia, on Sept. 10 to mark the start of construction of the utility’s newest on-base solar facility.

The 30-MW (ac) solar facility is the fourth large-scale solar project with the military started by Georgia Power this year, joining three other 30-MW facilities currently under construction at U.S. Army bases Fort Gordon, Fort Stewart and Fort Benning.

“The strong partnership with the Navy illustrated by today’s groundbreaking is the result of continued collaboration and energy innovation that sets Georgia apart from other states in solar development,” said Paul Bowers, chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power at the event.

“Innovative energy technologies and collaborative relationships are important for the Department of the Navy. Secure, reliable, resilient and affordable energy is critical for continuous operations,” said Dennis V. McGinn, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations & Environment.

Lauren “Bubba” McDonald Jr., vice-chair of the Georgia Public Service Commission, 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.

The SUBASE Kings Bay project is expected to occupy 258 acres on the base and utilize approximately 136,000 ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) panels to deliver energy to the state’s electric grid. The facility is expected to come online by the end of 2016 and to be brought online at or below Georgia Powers avoided cost. This solar project is estimated to represent a $75 million investment at the installation.   

Georgia Power, which is a subsidiary of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO), is also working with the Navy to finalize details for a potential fifth solar project, this one at the Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) Albany. In total, Georgia Power’s on-base solar projects are expected to add more than 150 MW of solar generation by the end of 2016.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.