The Army Moves Toward Renewable Energy Goal for 2025
January 23, 2013
PENTAGON, Washington DC (Jan. 23, 2013) -- The Army's goal to deploy 1 gigawatt of renewable energy projects by 2025 will help ensure that Army installations achieve high levels of energy security in the event of conventional grid outages.
The Army has established the Energy Initiatives Task Force (EITF) to lead its efforts towards this goal. The EITF serves as the central management office for partnering with Army installations to implement cost-effective, large-scale, renewable energy projects, with a focus on leveraging private sector financing. The EITF has responsibility for Army renewable energy projects that are 10 megawatts (MW) or greater using solar, wind, biomass, waste-to-energy, and geothermal energy sources.
Most recently, the EITF partnered with the Defense Logistics Agency-Energy in the release of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a 15 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project at Fort Detrick, Maryland and for a 28 MW biomass plant at Fort Drum, New York. In addition, the EITF has positioned three other projects (Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Irwin, California; and Schofield Barracks, Hawaii) to be released as RFP's or EUL's during 2013. In total, these five projects represent a 10 fold increase in the Army's renewable energy deployment to date, and will move the Army 10 percent towards achieving its 1 GW goal.
The Fort Detrick RFP calls for 15 megawatt of generation from a solar photovoltaic project purchased over a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA). The system will be designed as "micro-grid ready" to support critical missions in the event of the loss of commercial electric power. The system will operate in conjunction with future onsite energy sources.
The Fort Drum RFP calls for up to 28 megawatt of biomass generation also purchased through a PPA. The Army expects the energy to be provided through a long-term PPA with a future contractor. The Fort Drum Biomass Generation facility Power PPA Pre-proposal Conference will be held at the Dulles State Building on 24 January and the RFP closes on 15 March 2013.
The Fort Bliss project will involve a 20 megawatt solar photovoltaic project executed in partnership with El Paso Electric (EPE) utility. The Army is planning for the project to supply, on average, 11 percent of the annual installation electricity during certain parts of the year. Initially the system will only provide peak off-grid power; however it will be compatible with future micro-grid implementation and energy storage architecture that can provide the installation with full energy security.
In October, the Army and the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will advance negotiations for a lease of Army real property to HECO to construct, own, operate and maintain a 52 megawatt biodiesel-fired power plant on Oahu. The project will increase energy security for the Army by providing a secure, reliable source of power during grid outages.
The EITF worked closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntsville for the development and announcement of a $7 billion Multi-Award Task Order Contract (MATOC) Request for Proposal for the procurement of clean energy on or near Department of Defense (DoD) installations. The MATOC is a contract vehicle that establishes a pool of qualified firms/contractors for each renewable technology (solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal) to compete for individual PPA task order contracts. It represents a major step forward for the streamlined procurement of renewable energy for the Army and the other Services. The RFP was released in August and closed on 5 October and evaluations are currently ongoing. We anticipate awards to begin in late 2nd Quarter FY13, and expect all awards will be completed by end of calendar year 2013.
"The Army's focus is on enhancing mission effectiveness through power and energy advancements, advanced construction design standards, managing our existing power and energy resources, while exploring new technologies and renewable sources of energy," said the Hon. Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment. "While the development of renewable projects is not new to the Army, development of cost effective large-scale projects in a very clear, consistent, transparent and predictable manner is new. For the Army, developing sustainable strategies and turning those strategies into action, evolves from the Army's mission and mission accomplishment."
For additional information on the Army's Renewable Energy projects, visit the Federal Business Opportunities web site at www.fbo.gov or the EITF website www.armyeitf.com.