MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mid-South successfully energized a new primary electrical feeder line to the installation on May 17, a substantial milestone in securing the base’s energy resilience.
The new feeder line establishes NSA Mid-South’s physical access to a 53-megawatt (MW) solar farm – an immense construction project completed in April 2019. The feeder line was part of the in-kind consideration (IKC) for the Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast coordinated with the Tennessee Valley Authority, Silicon Ranch Corporation, and the City of Millington, Tennessee in order to construct the solar array.
NSA Mid-South can now utilize the energy source during grid outages, providing increased operational resilience for the base.
“The activation of this feeder line marks an important milestone in the installation’s energy security efforts,” said NSA Mid-South Commanding Officer Capt. Alonza “Al” Ross. “The solar project benefits all parties involved, but the feeder line in particular establishes what the Navy gets in return – increased energy resilience, which advances NSA Mid-South’s important mission of supporting our tenant’s local missions with global impact as the Navy’s Human Resources Center of Excellence.”
Silicon Ranch Corporation constructed the solar farm on 73 acres of installation land along with 330 adjacent acres of land the developer purchased from the Millington Industrial Development Board. The previous primary electrical feeder will remain in place and serve as a redundant power source when needed, greatly improving electrical reliability and resilience for NSA Mid-South.
“The project showcases how developing underutilized property benefits the Navy and industry, while supporting the local community’s goals,” said John Kliem, executive director of NAVFAC’s newly established Acquisition Modernization Office.
“This impressive solar facility generates 53MW with zero carbon emissions and zero water consumption needs, with the power feed providing NSA Mid-South and the Tennessee Valley Authority with reliable, resilient, and renewable power at cost-competitive rates for the next 20 years,” said Kleim. “By leveraging third-party financing and unique transactional authorities, NAVFAC can find alternative ways to finance the Navy’s growing backlog of critical unfunded installation requirements.”
The project also will yield the Navy $1.7 million in saved facilities rental charges over 20 years, plus $90,000 per year in cost avoidance from maintenance of the Navy land and facilities utilized for the solar array.
NSA Mid-South is home to the Navy Personnel Command, Navy Recruiting Command, the Navy Manpower Analysis Center, as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Finance Center and Logistics Agency, with approximately 6,500 military, civilian, and contract personnel working on the base.