Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany and Georgia Power collaborate on solar facility, moving base closer to “Net-Zero”goal

The Department of the Navy (DON) and Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, recently signed a real estate outgrant to develop a large-scale solar facility at Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) Albany in Albany, Georgia. The facility will be one of the state’s largest solar installations with the potential generation capacity of 44 megawatts (MW) of direct current (DC) power (31 MW alternating current).

Georgia Power will build, own, operate and maintain the solar facility at MCLB Albany, which will generate electricity for their electric grid.

As a component of the Marine Corps’ supporting establishment, MCLB Albany provides facilities infrastructure and a range of tailored support services enabling supported commands aboard the installation to accomplish their assigned missions in support of the warfighter.

“MCLB Albany has a strong commitment to energy security. Through our recent adoption of cutting-edge technologies, to include landfill gas-to-electric generators and ground source heat pumps, and our current effort to construct a biomass steam-fed electric generator, we are on track to achieve ‘net zero’ status well ahead of the Secretary of the Navy mandate,” said Marine Corps Col. James C. Carroll III, commanding officer, MCLB Albany. “This project with Georgia Power will add to the base’s energy security and diversify the area’s power supply, making the grid and all who rely on it more resilient.”

MCLB Albany was commissioned on March 1, 1952 as the Marine Corps Depot of Supplies. The base’s name changed two more times before taking on its current designation, becoming Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany on November 1, 1978.

“As work continues at the Submarine Base Kings Bay project near Savannah, we’re excited to move one step closer to starting construction on our second Department of Navy the project at the MCLB Albany,” said Norrie McKenzie, vice president of Renewable Development for Georgia Power. “Our continued partnership with the Navy is helping us grow solar in Georgia while strengthening our state’s military bases and stimulating investment in Georgia communities.”

The parties plan to break ground in the spring of 2016 and anticipate the solar facility to be online and producing power by the beginning of 2017.

The facility will be the second solar collaboration between the DON and Georgia Power, and the fifth solar project that the DON and Southern Company subsidiaries are developing. In total, the DON brought over one gigawatt of renewable energy into procurement in 2015, most of which was developed in the past 18 months under the auspices of the Renewable Energy Program Office (REPO). The Marine Corps and the Navy have continually been leaders in energy innovation, and deployment of renewable energy on DON bases is another example of using innovation to strengthen the DON’s warfighting capabilities.