HelioSage Energy, a national developer of utility scale solar projects, and Gulf Power Company, a Florida investor-owned electric utility and subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), have announced the development of three large-scale solar projects across Northwest Florida totaling 120 megawatts (MW).
Gulf Power and HelioSage have partnered with the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy to develop the solar facilities on three military sites along the Florida Gulf Coast. Once constructed, the projects will serve as the three largest photovoltaic (PV) solar facilities in Florida, and among the largest solar projects east of the Mississippi.
“This is an important collaboration between Gulf Power, the Navy, the Air Force, and HelioSage,” said Stan Connally, Gulf Power President and CEO. “We’re excited to be able to add solar energy to our generation mix. With some careful planning, we’ve been able to make sure these projects are cost-effective for our customers.”
Following approval by the Florida Public Service Commission, HelioSage will develop, finance, and operate the solar projects. The power generated by the facilities will then be sold to Gulf Power under a long-term Energy Purchase Agreement. Collectively, the solar facilities will produce enough energy to power over 18,000 homes each year.
“HelioSage is honored and excited to be partnering with Gulf Power, the Air Force, and the Navy on these landmark projects, which will bring renewable energy to Northwest Florida at rates competitive with traditional energy sources,” said Chris Quarterman, Vice President of Strategy for HelioSage.
“These projects serve as another example that large-scale solar has become a cost-effective, proven technology, and one that will play a major role in the energy future of not only the Sunshine State, but the nation. We congratulate Gulf Power and the Military for their leadership and vision, and look forward to working together on this collaborative effort.”
The solar facilities will be constructed at Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach (30 MW), Holley Naval Outlying Landing Field inNavarre (40 MW), and Saufley Naval Outlying Landing Field in Pensacola (50 MW). Construction is slated to begin early next year, with the projects reaching commercial operation by the fourth quarter of 2016.
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.