Solar Energy Farms
Gulf Power is partnering with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force to build solar energy farms at three different facilities across Northwest Florida, after receiving unanimous approval from the Florida Public Service Commission for approval. The projects could be in service as early as December 2016.
“Adding solar energy to our portfolio is another step in further diversifying our energy mix,” 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 — and all our customers will reap the benefit.”
The solar energy farms will be constructed at Eglin AFB in Fort Walton Beach (30 megawatts), Holley Field in Navarre (40 megawatts) and Saufley Field in Pensacola (50 megawatts).
Gulf Power will serve customers across Northwest Florida with power from these renewable energy-generating facilities. Together, these new solar facilities, which will be developed by HelioSage Energy, could produce enough energy to power approximately 18,000 homes for one year. As an intermittent energy resource, the solar farms will not replace Gulf Power’s generation plants, but will have the capability to provide energy that will diversify the power supply and provide a cost-effective alternative during peak energy usage.
Construction will begin in February 2016 and the facilities could be in service as early as December 2016.
The company’s first renewable energy project was the 3.2-megawatt Perdido Landfill Gas-to-Energy facility, which has produced more than 100 million kilowatt hours of electricity since starting commercial operation in 2010. Gulf Power also submitted a request in February to the PSC to approve an agreement that would make the utility a leading purchaser of wind generation among Florida utilities. If approved, this would bring the company to a total of five renewable energy sources.