Robins may get large solar power facility

wcrenshaw@macon.comApril 4, 2013 

A 57-acre solar power array could be coming to Robins Air Force Base.

At the Museum of Aviation on Thursday, base officials met with representatives of 30 solar power companies to discuss the project.

The Air Force has requested the companies submit their qualifications, and those that are qualified will then be asked to submit proposals. Georgia Power will examine the proposals and make a selection in September.

Whether it goes forward may depend on the proposals, but officials said shortly before the meeting started that they believe project will happen.

“I think it’s very likely,” said Otis Hicks, director of the 78th Civil Engineer Group. “It’s based on the candidates’ desire to invest.”

The developer would sell the power to Georgia Power, which provides the base’s power. The project would be funded by the developer, and there would be no cost for Robins. The base would make money by leasing the land at fair-market value, and the Air Force could apply the power generated toward its goals of creating renewable energy.

“It’s a win-win for the base and it’s a win-win for the community,” said Kathy Bustos, project manager for the Air Force Enhanced Use Lease Program, which would handle the leasing for the land.

After the meeting the companies were given a tour of the tract, which is off Marchbanks Drive on the south side of the base.

Hicks said the base has one large solar panel as a demonstration project, this would be its first significant foray into solar power.

He said the amount of power to be generated by the project will depend on the proposals that are made.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

The Telegraph is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service