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Officials with the Department of the Navy, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany and Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company located in Atlanta, Georgia, broke ground on a large-scale solar facility during a ceremony held aboard the installation, April 28.

Photo by Nathan L. Hanks Jr.

Officials break ground on new large-scale solar facility at MCLB Albany

28 Apr 2016 | Nathan L. Hanks Jr. Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

In a collaborative effort between the Department of the Navy, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany and Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company located in Atlanta, Georgia, officials broke ground on a large-scale solar facility aboard the installation, April 28.

Georgia Power will build, own, operate and maintain the 44-megawatt solar facility. The solar panels will be built on about 150 acres, which are scheduled to be completed in early 2017, according to Renewable Energy Program Office, DON, officials.

Event attendees included the Honorable Dennis V. McGinn, assistant secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations & Environment; Lt. Gen. Michael G. Dana, deputy commandant of the Marine Corps, Installations and Logistics, Headquarters Marine Corps; Col. James C. Carroll III, commanding officer, MCLB Albany; Kenneth E. Coleman, senior vice president, Marketing, Georgia Power; Lauren “Bubba” McDonald Jr., vice chair, Georgia Public Service Commissioner and several dignitaries from the local community.

McGinn stated the project, the second collaboration with Georgia Power, will help to enhance the energy security of MCLB Albany.

 “It is these partnerships that have yielded such high value for the Department of the Navy, our installations and the surrounding communities,” McGinn said. “As we begin to tighten our focus on energy resiliency, these projects will be the foundation of energy security on our bases.”

Dana added the Marine Corps has declared energy a top priority.

“We know that making efficient use of our energy resources is critical to our mission readiness,” Dana said. “This solar facility extends that ethos to energy resiliency. We are excited for this and other energy projects on base aimed at making the installation more resilient.”

According to Carroll, the project is a 37-year outlease between the DON and Georgia Power.

“The Department of the Navy, as well as the Marine Corps, think and believe energy is critical to the sustainment of our ability to project a presence forward in all that we do to sustain our forces worldwide,” Carroll said. “We believe that as good stewards of the taxpayers dollars, we want to do all we can to help sustain that energy as another way (to not only help save money but to help improve the security of the nation).

“At Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, we are fortunate to be collaborating with this group of military and private entities,” he concluded. “We have all been working together toward the same goal – to provide an unprecedented capacity for continuity of operations furthering grid stability.”

Fred Broome, director, Installation and Environmental Division, MCLB Albany, said having the solar-panel facility aboard the installation is a great opportunity for MCLB Albany and Southwest Georgia.

“The base is leasing 150 acres to Georgia Power and they are bringing in solar panels and will install them to provide about 44 megawatts of direct current power or 31 megawatts of alternating current,” Broome said. “This will be a significant increase on the grid here in Southwest Georgia in terms of the ability to provide power during times of grid outages. The base will benefit from that during times of a grid outage because we will have the ability to tap into this power.”

Broome said the solar power is more than enough for the base to use in case of an emergency.

“The base’s demand is around 10 to 12 megawatts, so it will be three times the peak load for the base,” Broome said. “It’s completely renewable. We will be the beneficiary again if there is ever a time of a major regional power outage.”

Broome listed several other energy saving projects MCLB Albany officials is working on, including the landfill-to-gas project and a steam electric generator.

“We have purchased landfill gas from Dougherty County and are making renewable energy, electricity,” he said. “We are in the process of doubling that capacity from two to four megawatts.

“In the future, a steam electric generator will be installed next to Proctor and Gamble’s large plant to take their biomass,” he added. “That steam will be converted into electricity for an eight-megawatt plant for the base. We take all these projects, along with this renewable capacity that Georgia Power will have here, and make ourselves very energy secure.” 

The Department of Defense’s overall goal is to become net zero by 2020, he said.

“(Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany) will meet the Net Zero requirement two years early, in fiscal year 2018,” he said. “Net Zero (means) we no longer depend on the grid for power. We can produce all of our needs from renewable energy.”

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