As part of the Department of Defense (DoD) goal to increase energy security, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced a plan to rev up renewable energy project installed on U.S. military installations.
The Request for Proposal (RFP) went out yesterday, a total of $7 billion in contract capacity aimed at developing power purchase agreements (PPAs) to generate renewable, alternative energy. The PPA structure will allow the department to leverage private sector financing to construct renewable energy plants, like wind, solar and geothermal facilities, the would then sell power at a reduced rate back to the military installations.
Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh said in a statement, ”The announcement of this acquisition vehicle by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers demonstrates EITF’s progress and the Army’s commitment toward installation energy security, mission readiness and resilience.”
He went on to say that the Federal Renewable and Alternative Energy contract will be crucial to the Army’s operations by providing “an important means to achieve its goal of one gigawatt of renewable energy projects by 2025.”
The statement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers emphasizes the effort to only secure a reliable, alternative energy source, not to actually own any solar, wind, geothermal or biomass energy plants directly. The plants themselves, while on U.S. Military property, will be owned completely from start to finish by private contractors. All contracts will be awarded fairly based on Federal Acquisition requirements.
The ultimate goal is to “ensure the Army of tomorrow has the same access to energy, water, land and natural resources as the Army of today.”
The United States Army is committed to producing one gigawatt of renewable energy–enough to power 250,000 homes–as an increased national security measure. Both the Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy are committed to cutting their fossil fuel consumption by 50 percent over the next eight years, and the Air Force is making a concerted effort to lower energy costs–and save taxpayer money–by reducing demand and increasing the use of alternative energy.
In total, the DoD has a target of generating 25 percent of total energy use from renewable sources in the next 13 years.