Construction starts on 31-MW Georgia Power solar project at Marine Corps base

Leadership from Georgia Power and the Department of the Navy (DON) on April 28 joined elected officials and other dignitaries at Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) Albany to mark the start of construction for a new 31-MW (ac) (44 MW dc) solar 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 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 solar project at MCLB Albany is estimated to represent a $75 million investment at the installation and will enable the Navy 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 Dennis V. McGinn, assistant secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations & Environment.

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.

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 Navy; 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.

Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO), one of the nation’s largest generators of electricity.

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.