The Air Force has signed an enhanced use lease (EUL) with Gulf Power Co. to develop a 30-megawatt photovoltaic solar energy plant on a 240-acre parcel at Eglin AFB, Fla.
The deal, part of the Air Force Community Partnership and Energy Program initiative, allows the utility and its developer to construct, own, operate and maintain the solar array. In return for use of the land, Gulf Power will make infrastructure upgrades promoting renewable energy or energy conservation at the installation over the lifespan of the 37-year lease. The financial consideration is valued at $1 million, according to a press release.
“These important partnerships support our base and civic communities and efficiently use Air Force property to enable unfunded installation requirements that support our mission and sustainability,” said Jennifer Miller, deputy assistant secretary for installations.
The power generated by the solar array will be delivered to a nearby Gulf Power substation and transmitted to the utility’s retail customers. The project will generate more than 60,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per year, according to the Air Force.
The service is always searching for innovative ways to partner with the community, especially in the energy domain, said Miranda Ballentine, assistant secretary for installations, environment and energy.
“This important partnership with Gulf Power helps us strengthen relationships with our local communities, and this particular EUL enhances our buying power for infrastructure while helping Gulf Power provide renewable energy for the community,” Ballentine said.
“We are going to receive infrastructure upgrades that will be reinvested into our energy programs and improve our energy resiliency, which is, first and foremost, our highest focus area for facility energy,” she said.