- Georgia Power will finance, design, build, own and operate three 30 megawatt solar arrays at U.S. Army bases and, in a deal reached with the Army Energy Initiatives Task Force, the Army will buy the power through an existing contract with the General Services Administration.
- With the 90 total megawatts of solar electricity installed at Forts Benning, Gordon, and Stewart in this "Georgia 3x30" initiative, the Army will be getting 18% of its electricity in Georgia from on-site renewables and move 9% closer to meeting its federal renewables goal.
- In this potentially precedent-setting business model, the offtaker’s price will match the utility’s avoided cost so it will not put upward pressure on rates and the utility will rate base the utility-scale solar.
The arrangement could provide a template for similar partnerships around the country and point the way for utilities to profit from providing renewables to local, state, federal, non-profit, and private sector institutions.
The nonbinding memorandum of understanding between Georgia Power and the Army finalized an effort worked out over months by Georgia regulators, the utility, and the military.
The utility will use a 90 megawatt self-build proposal approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission in 2007 that was originally intended to fund a biomass facility.
The military bases will lease land to Georgia Power and the utility will bring the arrays online by the end of 2016 to qualify for the 30% investment tax credit.
The solar projects will send their generated electricity to Georgia Power’s grid so the bases will be assured of uninterrupted service despite solar variability.
Georgia leads the Southeast in renewables, was among the top ten states for solar installations in 2013, and could be one of the top five for 2014, largely because Georgia Power has put almost 900 megawatts of capacity under contract.
The military is turning to renewables to cut its energy costs and assure a power resource in the event of natural disasters and terrorist attacks.