US Army announces plans to develop three 30 megawatt solar arrays

By on Monday, May 19th, 2014

The U.S. Army announced plans today to develop three 30 megawatt, alternating current, solar photovoltaic arrays — one each on Fort Stewart, Ga.; Fort Gordon, Ga.; and Fort Benning, Ga.

The projects are expected to bring the U.S. Army nine percent closer to its commitment to the President of deploying one gigawatt of renewable energy, by 2025.

Described by the U.S. Army as “Georgia 3×30,” “the project will be a platform for energy security and enable the U.S. Army to increase energy security and sustainability at all three installations,” explained Hon. Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment.

The three Georgia projects are a collaborative effort among the U.S. Army Energy Initiatives Task Force, Forts Stewart, Gordon and Benning, the General Services Administration, and Georgia Power.

Georgia Power, an operating utility of Southern Company, will finance, design, build, own and operate these projects. The U.S. Army will purchase power through an existing General Services Administration Area-wide Contract with Georgia Power. Land at each of the installations will be made available for the arrays and transmission of power.

Once operational, 18 percent of the energy the U.S. Army consumes in Georgia will be generated on-site by renewable sources. Groundbreaking is planned for late 2014 with commercial operations commencing in 2015. The 2007 National Defense Authorization Act requires the Army to consume 25 percent of electricity requirements from renewable sources, by 2025.

This announcement comes just weeks after a groundbreaking for a large-scale solar project at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. “We continue to grow our relationships with other government agencies and industry and are gaining momentum in building a sustainable renewable energy portfolio,” explained Richard Kidd, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for energy and sustainability.

The U.S. Army Energy Initiatives Task Force is currently working on additional projects in Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland and New York.

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