10 MW solar power at Robins Air Force Base

Somebody got a jump on Georgia Power for Air Force base solar installation.

Wayne Crenshaw wrote for The Telegraph 23 July 2014, Air Force signs deal for solar array at Robins,

The Air Force has inked a deal with a company that plans to build a 50-acre solar array at Robins Air Force Base.

New Generation Power has signed a 20-year agreement to lease unused property for the array, which will produce 10 megawatts of electricity, according to a base news release. The company already has signed an agreement with Georgia Power to purchase the electricity produced.

James Willingham, 78th Civil Engineer Group deputy director, said he expects construction will begin by September, and it should be operational by January. It will be built on base property next to Ga. 247 just south of the Museum of Aviation.

“It will look cool from the highway,” he said.

While the base will not be directly purchasing the solar power, Willingham said it will count towards the base’s alternative energy mandates because the power will be produced on the base.

Money from the lease payments will be used to further the base’s renewable energy efforts, he said. The amount of the lease payment will be based on the energy produced. Willingham said he isn’t sure how much that will end up being, but it will be significant.

“It will be enough to sustain several follow-on energy conservation projects,” he said.

Willingham said it also will help Georgia Power meet state requirements that it use more renewable energy.

Oh, right: because of the 1973 Territorial Electric Service Act, the power can only be sold to the local utility, which apparently in this case is Georgia Power.

The intiative for this Warner Robins project seems to have come from the Air Force, judging by Robins Air Force Base PR by Jenny Gordon 28 March 2014, Solar farm proposed at Robins Air Force Base,

The Air Force is offering 57 acres of property here as a potential site for a commercial plant. It is part of a program known as Enhanced Use Leasing.

What is Moody Air Force Base proposing? Haven’t heard about any solar projects there since that February 2012 solar thermal project.

And speaking of looking cool from the highway, Lowndes High School is also right next to I-75 and solar panels on its roof would be a great advertisement for a Lowndes County businesses would want to locate in.