The Georgia Public Service Commission on Thursday approved the construction of solar photovoltaic arrays at three Army installations in the state — Forts Stewart, Gordon and Benning.
The Georgia Power Co., an operating utility of Southern Company, will finance, design, build, own and operate each of the 30-megawatt projects. All three are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016, according to a commission press release. The projects, referred to as “Georgia 3×30,” are a collaborative effort among the Army’s Office of Energy Initiatives, the three installations, the General Services Administration (GSA) and Georgia Power.
The electricity generated by the solar arrays will go directly to the grid, with the Army continuing to purchase power through an existing 10-year GSA area-wide contract with Georgia Power, according to an Army fact sheet. In the future, though, the energy produced could be delivered directly to the installations when necessary.
“Not only is this power for today but this is power for the future and the right kind of power,” said Maj. Gen. Al Aycock, director of operations for the assistant chief of staff for installation management. “This will ensure that Fort Benning, Fort Stewart and Fort Gordon have the energy they need to accomplish their mission,” added Aycock, who appeared with Amanda Simpson, executive director of the Army Office of Energy Initiatives.
Separately, the commission announced a memorandum of understanding has been reached with the Navy to build a solar project at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in southeastern Georgia. That project also would be financed, built and operated by Georgia Power. That project still requires commission approval.