The site features about 170,000 solar panels already installed across its landscape, and within three to four more weeks, it should finish completion of its 372,475 total panels.
In addition to the location, construction of solar farms at Saufley Field and Holley Field in Navarre is also underway. Between all of the sites, 1.5 million panels are scheduled to start generating electricity for ratepayers in Northwest Florida by late August.
"This one is 240 acres," said Gulf Power spokeswoman Kimberly Blair as she stood among the panel structures at Eglin. "If you combined all three of them, they’re 940 acres, about the equivalent of 712 football fields."
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Over the long term, the installations should push down ratepayers' costs. The utility has projected the sites to generate electricity at a combined rate of 120 megawatts, which could supply enough energy to power about 18,000 homes annually.
Andy Kuzilik, Coronal Energy's construction manager who is overseeing the trio of solar farms, estimated the three locations were at a combined 32 percent completion this week. About 470,000 panels have been installed. He said at Eglin between 12,000 to 15,000 panels go up every day with about 20 teams, each with three workers, hustling to make way on the project.
Blair said the solar farms made economic sense for Gulf Power's more than 450,000 customers, because they would not add any costs for ratepayers.
"We selected a partnership with the Air Force, Navy and Coronal, because this was a project that would allow us to bring renewable energy to our customers," she said.