WARNER ROBINS -- The Air Force has inked a deal with a company that plans to build a 50-acre solar array at Robins Air Force Base.
New Generation Power has signed a 20-year agreement to lease unused property for the array, which will produce 10 megawatts of electricity, according to a base news release. The company already has signed an agreement with Georgia Power to purchase the electricity produced.
James Willingham, 78th Civil Engineer Group deputy director, said he expects construction will begin by September, and it should be operational by January. It will be built on base property next to Ga. 247 just south of the Museum of Aviation.
“It will look cool from the highway,” he said.
While the base will not be directly purchasing the solar power, Willingham said it will count towards the base’s alternative energy mandates because the power will be produced on the base.
Money from the lease payments will be used to further the base’s renewable energy efforts, he said. The amount of the lease payment will be based on the energy produced. Willingham said he isn’t sure how much that will end up being, but it will be significant.
“It will be enough to sustain several follow-on energy conservation projects,” he said.
Willingham said it also will help Georgia Power meet state requirements that it use more renewable energy.
Willingham said 10 megawatts would be enough to provide about an eighth of the base’s total power consumption.
New Generation Power is paying the total cost of the construction, Willingham said, so the only cost to the base is providing the land that it isn’t using anyway.
According to its website, New Generation Power is a “global developer, investor, owner and operator of infrastructure assets in three key areas -- utility scale power generation, distributed generation, and mining exploration and extraction.”
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.