Members of the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) joined local leaders, Department of the Army officials, and Georgia Power representatives June 1 to officially open a 30 MW solar project at the U.S. Army base at Fort Benning.
The facility, near Columbus, Georgia, is the first of five new solar facilities on Georgia military bases being developed by Southern (NYSE:SO) utility Georgia Power.
This project is the result of a partnership between the PSC, Georgia Power and the Department of Defense to build solar facilities at five Georgia military bases with a total capacity of 166 MW.
The other projects are at Fort Stewart in Hinesville, Fort Gordon in Augusta, the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia and the Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany.
“”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 not only for our customers, but for the bases and local communities,” said Georgia Power Vice President of Renewable Development Norrie McKenzie.
The initial project will generate 30 MW and covers more than 200 acres on Fort Benning.
Commissioners Tim Echols (R-Jefferson), Doug Everett (R-Albany) and Stan Wise (R-Marietta) took part in the Fort Benning ribbon cutting.
Commissioner Wise in his remarks noted this installation will mean affordable renewable resources not just for the military but for the entire state.
The PSC approved the development of these solar facilities of up to 30 MW to be owned by Georgia Power in its approval of Georgia Power’s 2007 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).
Georgia Power used the capacity from the 2007 IRP for the Fort Benning project. The PSC directed that the projects would be brought online at or below the company’s long term avoided cost, the amount projected it would cost the company to generate comparable energy from other sources.
The Georgia PSC is a five-member constitutional agency that exercises its authority to oversee telecommunications, electric and natural gas service in the state.