Leaders from Georgia Power and the Department of the Navy (DON) joined elected officials, community leaders and other dignitaries at Naval Submarine Base (SUBASE) Kings Bay near St. Marys, Ga. today to mark the start of operations of a new 30 megawatt (MW) on-base solar facility. The 30 MW alternating current, or 42 MW direct current, solar generation facility is the first completed by Georgia Power in collaboration with the DON and joins a similar 30 MW on-base solar facility recently completed with the U.S. Army at Fort Benning.
Georgia Power is currently developing more than 150 MW of solar generation to serve the state’s electric customers through strategic projects with the DON and the U.S. Army. In addition to the facilities now online at SUBASE Kings Bay and Fort Benning, new Georgia Power solar facilities are under construction at Fort Gordon, Fort Stewart and the Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) Albany.
“Within a year, this site on the Georgia coast has been transformed into a state-of-the-art solar facility that will provide energy for our state for years to come,” said Norrie McKenzie, vice president of renewable development for Georgia Power. “As we look forward to bringing additional on-base solar facilities on line, we appreciate the Navy’s continued partnership and recognition of the importance of this new energy source for our customers, the bases and local communities.”
“Innovative energy technologies and collaborative relationships are important for the Department of the Navy,” said Commander, Navy Region Southeast, Rear Admiral Mary M. Jackson. “Ensuring our installations have secure, reliable, resilient and affordable energy is critical for continuous operations. Working with an innovator like Georgia Power enables the Department of the Navy to achieve its missions and energy efficiency goals.”
The SUBASE Kings Bay solar facility was built and is owned and operated by Georgia Power with energy delivered to state’s electric grid at or below the company’s avoided cost (the amount projected it would cost the company to generate comparable energy from other sources). The solar project at SUBASE Kings Bay occupies 254 acres, utilizes approximately 133,000 ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) panels and is estimated to represent a $75 million investment at the installation.
In coordination with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC), Georgia Power continues to develop renewable energy as part of a diverse generation portfolio through programs designed to prevent upward pressure on customer rates. Through the company’s various solar initiatives, millions of solar panels are being added to Georgia’s energy landscape. Most recently, Georgia Power received approval from the Georgia PSC to add up to 1,600 MW of new renewable generation by 2021, as well as new demonstration projects to study wind and solar generation opportunities as part of its 2016 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).