WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Army announced plans Thursday to develop three 30-megawatt, alternating-current, solar photovoltaic arrays — one each for Forts Stewart, Gordon and Benning. The projects are projected to bring the U.S. Army 9 percent closer to its commitment of President Barack Obama of deploying 1 gigawatt of renewable energy by 2025.
Referred to by the U.S. Army as Georgia 3x30, “the project will be a platform for energy security and will enable the U.S. Army to increase energy security and sustainability at all three installations,” said 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 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 Army consumes in Georgia will be generated onsite by renewable sources. Groundbreaking is planned for late 2014, with commercial operations commencing in 2015. The 2007 National Defense Authorization Act requires the U.S. 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, Arizona.
“We continue to grow our relationships with other government agencies and industry and are gaining momentum in building a sustainable renewable-energy portfolio,” said Richard Kidd, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for energy and sustainability.
The U.S. Army Energy Initiatives Task Force is working on additional projects in Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland and New York.