Georgia Power sparks up new projects with Georgia Military bases
By Jannah Bolds
Members from the Georgia Power Company, General Services Administration, and the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives have collaborated on an electrifying project scheduled for completion at the end of 2016; solar energy panels.
West Georgia military base, Fort Benning, is the first of three solar panel projects coming into effect this year. These solar projects will each total 30 megawatts in size and will create energy for Georgia’s electrical grid by utilizing photovoltaic panels.
“Georgia Power has long pursued a diversified energy supply. We use nuclear, coal, natural gas, hydropower and solar power which gives us reliable and affordable source of power for our customers,” said Georgia Power Spokesman, John Kraft.
Because each solar project may cover more than 200 acres, Georgia military bases have large enough pieces of land to house such an enormous project.
Construction at Fort Benning, near Columbus, Georgia, began in April while Fort Gordon and Fort Stewart began last week, Georgia Power claims.
A construction team will be required to piece the project together, but not much maintenance is needed to keep these plants up and running. This ensures that energy costs will stay consistent, for Georgia Power and its customers.
“This project is required to cost no more than our other generation sources. It has to come in at, or below, what it would take to generate power from other sources. By setting that limit, it means that it will not cost customers more than it would have otherwise,” said Kraft.
The plan for this solar project is to place 30 megawatts on each military compound and have the energy that’s collected funnel into Georgia Power’s main electrical grid so that it may reach its customers.
“These bases will be more sustainable, equally and perhaps more important by giving them greater access to the power they are producing. These arrays will make these bases more secure and self reliant as well,” said Kevin Kampschroer from the U.S. General Services Administration.
“All panels must be working and online by the end of 2016 and we are very excited to be working with the Army and looking forward to getting these panels online as our balanced generation portfolio,” said Kraft.