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Army bringing solar plant to Fort Gordon

Thursday, May 15, 2014 12:51 PM
Last updated Friday, May 16, 2014 1:11 AM
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Georgia Power and the Army announced plans Thursday to develop solar power plants at Fort Gordon and two other military bases in Georgia.

The 30-megawatt solar farms will be installed at Fort Gordon, Fort Stewart near Savannah and Fort Benning near Columbus that will, once completed, result in 18 percent of the Army’s energy consumption in Georgia generated from on-site renewable sources, according to an Army release on the Georgia 3X30 project.

The local solar plant will be built on a 250-acre tract near the Gordon Lakes Golf Course, said Fort Gordon Public Affairs Officer J.C. Mathews.

“We’re delighted to have been chosen to be part of the 3X30 initiative,” Mathews said. “We pride ourselves at being in the forefront of technology for the Defense Department, so we think the addition of this facility is a great fit for Fort Gordon.”

Mathews said Fort Gordon already has 13 buildings, in addition to planned barracks, heated and cooled from ground-sourced pumps.

“We’re very interested in seeing continued development of these sorts of renewable and sustainable energy and power sources,” he said.

Georgia Power will build, own and operate the three facilities, scheduled to break ground this fall after an environmental assessment, and be completed by the end of 2016.

Totaling 90 megawatts, the plants are expected to be the largest solar-generation facilities on any U.S. military base, said Georgia Power spokesman John Kraft. Georgia Power’s role in the project stems from a 2007 Renewable Resource Action Plan filed with the Georgia Public Service Commission that gave the company approval to develop and own three cost-effective renewable projects.

The Army said it will purchase power through an existing contract with the regional utility provider.

The bulk of work needed to develop the solar sites will be in design and engineering, Kraft said.

“There are not a lot of moving parts, for instance, in like a traditional power plant,” he said. “Once you get them in, they pretty much just operate. There’s not a lot involved.”

Kraft said 1 megawatt of solar can produce enough annual energy for about 130 homes, but that additional sources of power would be needed on cloudy days or during certain times of the day.

“This doesn’t necessarily replace other generation sources,” he said. “Other generation sources are still needed, but solar can play a part.”

By 2016, Georgia Power expects to boast a solar portfolio of nearly 900 megawatts, which the company contends is the largest in the nation. The company also develops nuclear, advanced coal and natural gas projects.

According to the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act, the Army must consume 25 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2025. The three projects in Georgia are expected to bring the Army closer to that commitment.

The Army’s Energy Initiatives Task Force recently broke ground on a large-scale solar project at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., and is working on similar installations in Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland and New York.

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scorehouse
196
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scorehouse 05/15/14 - 07:13 pm
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how much
Unpublished

will the army pay per KWH compared to what they pay now? this a pure economics question. anyone know the answer?

scorehouse
196
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scorehouse 05/15/14 - 07:17 pm
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why no mention
Unpublished

of the price per KWH in the article before and after?

corgimom
32500
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corgimom 05/15/14 - 10:42 pm
2
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Does that mean that the

Does that mean that the people living in post housing will be able to turn on their heat and air conditioning when they want to, and not have the MP's patrolling, looking for people that are "illegally" running their air-conditioners?

OJP
6634
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OJP 05/16/14 - 11:53 am
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Great news!

We need to invest heavily in renewables.

NoCatchyName
30
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NoCatchyName 05/16/14 - 12:03 pm
1
1
Great news but for whom?

Investment in renewables brought about solely through Government sponsorship, legislation and regulation has had an immense cost already. That cost is likely to continue and increase until the American System collapses under its weight.

resident
489
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resident 05/16/14 - 04:03 pm
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Free Land

So let me get this right. WE as taxpayers help pay for installation of this and then We as taxpayers have to also pay for the energy it creates. Sounds like a bad deal to me for We as taxpayers. Sounds like a great deal if you own Southern Company Stock of course. It would be more beneficial if Georgia Power guaranteed the power is solely used by the base and not placed on the grid for them to get yet even more money off of. I bet since the base can do this if the schools would really look hard these new buildings and even older ones could use Grid Attached systems and save a considerable amount of money for this Summer going back to work instead of the fall.

Dixieman
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Dixieman 05/16/14 - 04:53 pm
2
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That's very nice

Does it make the troops more effective?
As a result of this program will they be able to defend our country better?
This is not some sort of social science experiment using our troops as lab rats, is it? Is it?
Does this directly relate to military strength and readiness?
Y'all know the answers already, don't you?
Feh.
Stupid program.

Riverman1
84010
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Riverman1 05/17/14 - 06:21 am
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30 megawatts per 250 acres.

30 megawatts per 250 acres. Interesting.

corgimom
32500
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corgimom 05/17/14 - 02:18 pm
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Since military personnel get

Since military personnel get free utility bills when they live in post housing, I would think that every taxpayer would welcome this announcement.

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