March 23--EGLIN AFB -- Workers with Gulf Power and their affiliates are at the halfway point on a major construction project that could produce solar power for thousands of Northwest Florida residents.
Since the first solar panel was installed in January, the company has transformed the 240-acre plot of what once was Eglin reservation woodlands near Niceville into a virtual sea of glass.
On Thursday morning, Gulf Power Generation Resource Planning Manager Sybelle Fitzgerald took a moment to bring the Daily News up to date on the project.
Q: This project is one of three solar farms being built on military property here in Northwest Florida. Now that you're at the halfway point of construction, are you on track with your project timetable?
A: This site here at Eglin is set to go into production at the end of May, so we're right on schedule with that target.
Q: What's been the biggest challenge you've faced in getting this project off the ground?
A: I've been involved with quite a few construction projects in my role at Gulf Power, but I've never worked to bring so many parties together to make a project happen. It's taken people with a lot of different skill sets and experience to make it work.
Q: If there was one thing you wanted people to know about this project, what would it be?
A: The impressiveness of the teamwork, the scope of the site, the amount of land we had to prepare for this project, and the partnership we have with all of our co-workers. In addition to this site, we have two more at Saufley Field and Holley that are associated with the Navy. I think these projects could be a model for other solar farms.
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