Regulators approve Gulf power solar plan

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Public Service Commission on Thursday approved a plan that would lead to Gulf Power Co. buying electricity from major new solar facilities at Northwest Florida military bases.

The solar facilities would total 120 megawatts and would be built at Eglin Air Force Base, Holley Field and Saufley Field. The facilities would be built and operated by subsidiaries of Charlottesville, Va.-based HelioSage, LLC.

The Pensacola-based Gulf would purchase the output of the facilities, passing along the costs to customers.

"We support this important partnership between Gulf Power and the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy that will play a major role in Florida's energy future," Public Service Commission Chairman Art Graham said in a prepared statement Thursday. "The solar facilities will diversify the utility's power supply and increase Florida's emissions-free electricity generation."