Tuesday afternoon, Georgia Power, the Air Force, and other local leaders announced they're building a new solar farm near Robins Air Force Base.
"It is about enhancing the military value of the economic engine of this community and of this state," says Major General, Robert McMahon.
The 139-megawatt facility will be the largest single solar project ever to be constructed by Georgia Power. That's according to Vice President of Renewable Development, Norrie McKenzie.
"During times of grid outage, it will have the capability of serving the base directly," says McKenzie, and the big plant will allow for smaller costs.
"As far as the customers of Georgia Power are concerned, this plant is being built at a cost that is below our long-term projected avoided cost. I like to say it this way -- it will put downward pressure on the cost of electricity for our customers over the life of this plant," says McKenzie.
Georgia Power says the new facility will be located on over 800 acres of land, and will contain over 500,000 solar panels, which are expected to create clean energy for the next 35 years.
The Central Georgia Joint Development Authority owns the land where the solar facility will be built. Chairman James Vaughn says the new panels will be beneficial to all parties involved.
"It's a win-win for everybody involved. The citizens need clean air and cheaper electricity. The Central Georgia Joint Development Authority needs an acceptable use for this encroachment land, and Georgia Power has a mandate to produce renewable energy. The base and the military have a mandate to use renewable energy and have resilience in their power sources," says Vaughn.
Bill Edge with the Georgia Public Service Commission adds, "Without the approval of the Georgia Public Service Commission, the project could not go forward."
Georgia Power plans to break ground in 2018 and have the facility open in 2019.
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