WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Department of the Navy (DON) and Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, announced plans today to build a four megawatt (MW) direct current (DC) (three MW alternating current) solar facility at Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC) Gulfport in Gulfport, Mississippi.
The parties signed a real estate outgrant Jan. 28 for 23 acres of base land that will house the facility.
In exchange for the land needed for the project, NCBC Gulfport will receive in-kind consideration in the form of electrical infrastructure upgrades. Once online, the power generated will benefit Mississippi Power customers, including NCBC Gulfport.
Capt. Cheryl M. Hansen, the commanding officer of NCBC Gulfport, commended the agreement.
"NCBC Gulfport plays a critical role in keeping our Seabees trained and deployable at a moment's notice," said Hansen. "This project, coupled with our existing energy programs, will increase the energy security of the installation, which will allow us to operate more effectively during times of crisis."
No stranger to energy efficiency and security efforts, NCBC Gulfport was a recipient of the FY 2015 Secretary of the Navy's Energy and Water Management Award, Small Shore category.
The Mississippi Public Service Commission approved the project in November 2015. Hannah Solar, Mississippi Power's developer, will finance and build the project with power being routed to the Mississippi Power electric grid.
An investor-owned utility company that serves 23 counties in southeastern Mississippi, Mississippi Power provides electricity to NCBC Gulfport. The company expects to break ground on the project early this year and bring the facility online before the end of the calendar year.
"This cost-effective, utility-scale solar energy project once again places Mississippi Power at the forefront of the state's energy economy by adding renewables into the company's portfolio," said Mississippi Power President and CEO Anthony Wilson. "Working together with the Navy and Hannah Solar, this project will have a substantial impact on the amount of electricity generated by renewables in Mississippi. We continue to work closely with our military leaders to help them meet their renewable energy goals."
This project is one of five collaborations between the DON and Southern Company subsidiaries. In the last six months, the parties broke ground on solar facilities at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay (42 MW DC), Naval Air Station Pensacola (65 MW DC) and Naval Air Station Whiting Field (52 MW DC). Announcement of the fifth project is anticipated this spring. Together, the five projects could produce nearly 200 MW DC.
Renewable energy generation projects improve the DON's energy security, operational capability, strategic flexibility and resource availability.