The first solar panels installed on large-scale solar projects at Eglin AFB and NAS Pensacola
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE and NAS PENSACOLA, Florida, (January 18, 2017) – Executives from Gulf Power and Coronal Energy, powered by Panasonic, joined officials from Eglin Air Force Base and Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola for the installation of the first two solar photovoltaic panels on two large-scale solar projects. The projects at Eglin Air Force Base and NAS Pensacola’s Navy Outlying Landing Field (NOLF) Saufley, along with a third project at NAS Whiting Field’s NOLF Holley, comprise the Gulf Coast Solar Center Portfolio.
When complete, the combined facilities will be among the state’s largest solar projects with approximately 1.5 million solar panels capable of generating up to 120 megawatts of electricity, enough energy to power approximately 18,000 homes annually.
“These projects exemplify our commitment to leveraging strong partnerships and innovative solutions to develop large-scale solar projects that deliver clean energy to a diverse set of customers,” said Jonathan Jaffrey, chairman and CEO of Coronal Energy™. “The collaborative approach to the development of the Gulf Coast Solar Center Portfolio represents a smarter approach to pursuing solar energy, and may serve as a model for future public/private sector renewable energy initiatives.”
Coronal Energy, powered by Panasonic, is constructing the three facilities on Department of Defense property in Northwest Florida – one at NAS Pensacola’s NOLF Saufley, one on NAS Whiting Field’s NOLF Holley, and one at Eglin Air Force Base. Construction began at all three locations in November and are expected to become operational during the summer of 2017.
Stan Connally, Gulf Power chairman, president and CEO, pointed out that the solar projects are vital to building a sustainable energy infrastructure while easing the impact on the environment. They also help further diversify the company’s energy portfolio and support the mission to provide safe, affordable and reliable energy to its Northwest Florida customers.
“We’re proud to work with Coronal Energy, powered by Panasonic, the Air Force and the Navy as we work toward meeting critical energy needs as well as the energy needs of the region,” said Connally. “Gulf Power is investing in smart renewables such as these solar projects that make economic sense for our customers as part of a balanced energy mix.”
Jim Doyle, president of Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company, added: “Solar is the world’s fastest-growing energy source. With these projects, Gulf Power — in cooperation with the Air Force and the Navy — takes a big step forward adding clean, resilient, domestic renewable energy to its portfolio for the benefit of its customers. They’re showing how going solar translates to smart business and smart government, not just for residents and businesses in Florida but also across the country.”
"We continually seek to balance the military mission with the stewardship of this environmental national treasure and look for innovative ways to excel in both arenas,” said Col. Craig Johnson, 96th Civil Engineer Group commander at Eglin AFB. “This project does that by leasing 240 acres of underused land to Gulf Power and in turn Eglin AFB will receive lease payments we will use to improve the energy resiliency of our installation. At the same time, the project will provide a substantial amount of clean energy back to Eglin and the surrounding community.”
“It’s rewarding to be part of this project, which will provide an opportunity for us to assist local and state partners in understanding the Department of the Navy’s overall strategy and commitment for renewable energy,” said NAS Pensacola Commanding Officer Capt. Christopher Martin.
"It is gratifying to be part of a partnership that truly is beneficial to everyone,” NAS Whiting Field Commanding Officer Capt. Todd Bahlau stated. “This effort will develop cost-effective, renewable sources of energy, which will also enhance the Navy's energy security. Our team is excited to play a role in this collaborative project."
Energy produced by the projects will serve Gulf Power customers across Northwest Florida and were unanimously approved by the Florida Public Service Commission in April 2015. Together, these facilities will be among the largest photovoltaic arrays in Florida and have the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 139,000 tons annually. Combined they will be one of the largest solar projects east of the Mississippi.
The solar facilities are estimated to generate the following amounts of energy:
About Gulf Power
Gulf Power is an investor-owned energy provider with all of its common stock owned by Atlanta-based Southern Company. Gulf Power serves more than 450,000 customers in eight counties throughout Northwest Florida. The company’s mission is to safely provide exceptional customer value by delivering reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electricity while strengthening our communities. Visit online at MyGulfPower.com or on the company’s Facebook page. News information can be found at GulfPowerNews.com
About Coronal Energy, powered by Panasonic
Coronal Energy, powered by Panasonic, is a leading provider of renewable energy solutions—especially solar PV—for diverse enterprise customers across North America, including utilities, corporations, the public sector, educational institutions, and other organizations. It unites Panasonic’s financial strength and award-winning history of solar innovation and sustainability leadership with the project development, finance, engineering, construction, and asset management experience of Coronal Energy.
Coronal Energy™ develops, finances, and operates solar PV projects in exclusive partnership with Panasonic. In December 2014, Panasonic made an initial strategic investment in Coronal, followed by a second investment in September 2016. Coronal announced the acquisition of HelioSage Energy, a leading utility-scale solar project developer, in February 2015. In September of the same year, Coronal and Panasonic announced a strategic investment in Blue Oak Energy, a best-in-class commercial and utility-scale solar engineering and construction company founded in 2003.
The Coronal Energy, powered by Panasonic, team also includes the Energy Solutions Group of Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company, a division of Panasonic Corporation of North America. Newark, NJ-based Panasonic Corporation of North America is a leading technology partner and integrator to businesses, government agencies, and consumers across the region. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corporation and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service, and R&D operations. Panasonic was featured in Fortune Magazine's 2016 ranking of 50 companies that are changing the world and doing well by doing good.
The Coronal Energy, powered by Panasonic, portfolio includes projects in 40 states totaling 2.3 GW with more than 3.4 GW of greenfield and brownfield projects under construction/contract, in development, or in the pipeline. The integrated team maintains offices across North America in California, Colorado, New Jersey, Virginia, and Toronto.