A San Diego-based renewable energy company under contract with JEA filed site plans Sept. 22 for Westlake Solar Array, a 50-megawatt solar farm in West Jacksonville.
The EDF Renewables Distributed Solutions Inc. project is part of a purchase power agreement with the city-owned utility to build and operate five solar farms by late 2022 producing 250 megawatts of electricity. JEA expects construction on the five projects to begin in late 2021.
EDF will build the solar farm through Westlake Solar Partners LLC on 947.14 acres of JEA-owned land bordered by Pritchard, Lazy J and Fish roads.
A report filed with the plans by Environmental Consulting & Technology Inc. said the solar field will have photovoltaic panels mounted to steel support structures and footers and a substation/switchyard.
JEA bought the land for Westlake Solar Array in September 2018 for $9.11 million.
JEA officials said in a June 5 email that the five solar projects will be developed and constructed sequentially.
The projects include the 400-acre Beaver Street Solar Center and the 400-acre Cecil Commerce Solar Center, both in West Jacksonville. Those facilities are on property owned by JEA.
JEA paid $18.3 million in October 2017 for the 1,895-acre Deep Creek Solar Center and $6.5 million in December 2018 to develop the 600.98-acre Forest Trail Solar installation.
The agreement between EDF and JEA will provide energy to the city utility at a fixed price for 25 years.
“When completed, this portfolio of solar projects will produce enough energy in the summer months for JEA to power approximately one-third of the entire City of Jacksonville while also reducing our dependence on fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas,” JEA Community Involvement & Project Outreach Manager Greg Corcoran said in an email Sept. 30.
Gerri McKenzie, special assistant to JEA CEO Paul McElroy, said June 4 that the utility has 39 megawatts of utility solar online.