Dan Cohen AUTHOR The Navy this week signed a real estate outgrant with Georgia Power to develop a 30-megawatt solar farm at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay on the southern coast of Georgia.The outgrant provides Georgia Power, the largest subsidiary of Southern Co., access to 258 acres of land to install ground-mounted solar photovoltaic panels. Energy generated by the project will be routed to Georgia Power’s transmission lines and distributed to its customers. By developing the solar farm on-base, the Navy can physically secure it behind the installation’s fence lines and will benefit from having a new power source close to the base. The project is estimated to represent a $75 million investment.Georgia Power expects to break ground on the project later this summer with the facility coming online by the end of 2016.“This project will contribute to the Navy’s energy portfolio and will also reduce demand for fossil fuel,” said Capt. James Jenks, Kings Bay’s commanding officer. The Navy is actively pursuing opportunities to collaborate with energy service providers such as Georgia Power to develop cost-effective, renewable energy to enhance its energy security and operational capability, and provide valuable benefits to the local community, according to a Navy press release.“Our innovative solar partnerships with the state’s military bases, including SUBASE Kings Bay, are growing Georgia solar, strengthening Georgia military bases and stimulating investment in Georgia communities,” said Norrie McKenzie, vice president of renewable development for Georgia Power.Since April, the utility has participated in groundbreakings for 30-megawatt solar photovoltaic arrays at three Army posts in the state — Forts Gordon, Stewart and Benning.
The Central Government, on Monday, urged the Supreme Court to take immediate action on the fate of the illegal coal block allocations, but has requested not to invalidate 46 operational ones.Pointing at the critical power condition in the country, Attorney General Mukul Rahtogi asked the apex court to spare at least 46 coal blocks that has been declared illegal among 218 total blocks.He told the court that these blocks are either producing coal or is in the process of producing the much needed fuel at the time. A total of 40 blocks is currently operational while rest 6 blocks are expected to become operational shortly, Times of India reported.However, Rohtagi told SC that the Centre would accept whatever decision the apex court takes on the coal block allocation scam.The Centre is ready for the cancellation of the illegal and arbitrary allocation but urged the SC to take immediate decision as government would need to begin instant auctioning of the coal blocks to meet the power needs, as India is dependent mostly on coal as fuel for power generation.On 26 August, SC had declared that all coal blocks allocations between 1993 and 2011 lacked transparency and were issued through illegal methods; and whether or not all the allocations would be cancelled has to be decided in hearings starting from Monday.