GSA Contract Bolsters Army’s Largest Solar Project
Saudia Muwwakkil, Regional Public Affairs Officer
May 13, 2015
The U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives, US General Services Administration (GSA), and Georgia Power have joined forces to launch Georgia 3x30, the Army’s largest solar power project to date. The initiative will generate 30-megawatts of renewable energy at three solar photovoltaic power parks, each to be constructed at Forts Benning, Gordon and Stewart. Together, the three sites will supply 18 percent of the Army’s electricity in Georgia, which represents enough energy to power nearly 22,000 average American homes.
The Army, GSA and Georgia Power are marking the start of the project with a series of ground-breaking ceremonies, the first of which was held at Fort Benning on April 17. Final ground-breaking ceremonies will take place at Forts Gordon and Stewart on May 14 and 15, respectively.
Georgia 3x30 leverages GSA’s government-wide utilities contract authority and will be financed, designed, installed, owned, and operated by Georgia Power. GSA’s areawide contracts are long-term contracts with regulated public utility companies established to ease energy management services for federal agencies. Since 2013, GSA has worked with the Department of Defense to enhance the GSA Areawide Public Utility Contracts and provide eight bases across the country greater access to renewable energy sources.
GSA’s Acting Senior Sustainability Chief Kevin Kampschroer directed GSA’s involvement in the effort through the agency’s Energy Division. He asserts that the collaboration contributes to federal sustainability goals and helps build the country’s sustainable infrastructure. “Sustainable facilities are the future of government,” Kampschroer said. “If we are going to be a sustainable government-- and we are-- we have to understand that how we get our energy is just as important as how we use it. By giving bases greater access to the power they produce, the solar arrays will make the bases more secure, self-reliant and will reduce long term cost.”
Upon completion in 2016, the solar parks at Forts Benning, Gordon and Stewart will each cover approximately 200 acres and feature nearly 140,000 4-foot by 6-foot solar photovoltaic panels.