WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Department of the Navy (DON) and Southern Company subsidiary Gulf Power signed a real estate outgrant Oct. 28, to develop two large-scale solar electric generating facilities in Florida that will have an estimated total capacity of 117 megawatts (MW) direct current (DC). On a sunny day, the combined capacity could power approximately 13,600 homes.
The agreement specifies solar facility development of approximately 65 MW DC (50 MW alternating current (AC)) at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola and approximately 52 MW DC (40 MW AC) at NAS Whiting Field. The facilities will encompass approximately 290 acres of Navy Outlying Landing Field (NOLF) Saufley at NAS Pensacola and 300 acres of NOLF Holley at NAS Whiting Field.
Navy Region Southeast Commander, Rear Adm. Mary Jackson commended the achievement and regional progress. "Our installations and their missions are unique. It is imperative for us to have the regional energy security and resilience needed to provide continuous support to the greater DON mission. These new solar facilities are two of the eight renewable generation projects that the DON is supporting in the southeast, contributing to nearly 30 percent of the secretary of the Navy's goal to bring one gigawatt of renewable energy into production or procurement by the end of 2015."
The commanding officers from NAS Pensacola and NAS Whiting Field also stressed the importance of these solar facilities.
"Under the auspices of the Secretary of the Navy's Strategy for Renewable Energy, this project provides an opportunity to assist local and state partners in understanding the DON's overall strategy and commitment to renewable energy," said Capt. Keith Hoskins, commanding officer of NAS Pensacola.
"With 11 percent of all DOD flight hours flown out of NAS Whiting Field it is critical to maintain operations, regardless of the circumstances, and this agreement enables us to do so with greater reliability," remarked Capt. Todd Bahlau, commanding officer of NAS Whiting Field.
Gulf Power's third-party solar energy developer, Coronal Development Services, will build, own, operate and maintain the facilities. Gulf Power will then acquire all of the energy and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the projects to serve all of its customers, including the DON.
According to Stan Connally, Gulf Power President and CEO, these solar projects help Gulf Power to further diversify its energy portfolio and support the mission to provide safe, affordable and reliable energy to Gulf Power's Northwest Florida customers.
"This is an important collaboration between Gulf Power and the Navy," said Stan Connally, Gulf Power president and CEO. "Through careful planning, we've been able to work alongside our military partners to help provide cost-effective renewable energy for all of our customers."
These Florida facilities are two of five renewable energy generation projects totaling up to 200 MW DC that the DON and Southern Company's utility subsidiaries are collaborating on in the southeast region.
The parties will hold a groundbreaking ceremony at NAS Pensacola in December and anticipate the NAS Pensacola and NAS Whiting Field solar facilities to be operational by December 2016.