The US Navy and Air Force have commissioned three solar power plants totalling 120MW along Florida’s Gulf coast.
Developer HelioSage Energy and investor-owned utility Gulf Power Company will develop the projects in the north-west of the state. According to HelioSage, they will be the three largest PV plants in Florida and three of the largest in the eastern US.
A 30MW array will be built at Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, 40MW will be installed at the Holley Naval Outlying Landing Field in Navarre and 50MW will be built at the Saufley Naval Outlying Landing Field in Pensacola.
"These projects serve as another example that large-scale solar has become a cost-effective, proven technology, and one that will play a major role in the energy future of not only the Sunshine State, but the nation,” said Chris Quarterman, vice president of strategy, HelioSage. “We congratulate Gulf Power and the Military for their leadership and vision, and look forward to working together on this collaborative effort,” he added
Following approval from the Florida Public Service Commission, HelioSage will finance, develop and operate the projects. Power purchase agreements (PPAs) will then be signed with Gulf Power. Construction is expected to begin in early 2016 and complete late that year.