DoD awards first of $7 billion for renewable energy PPAs

The Army Corps of Engineers

DoD to award part of $7 billion to solarThe Army Corps of Engineers announced the first of its Multiple Award Task Order Contracts for $7 billion worth of renewable energy projects at Department of Defense installations on Monday.

The Corps released a massive request for proposals in 2012 asking renewable energy companies to offer up specific projects that they would fund, build and maintain in exchange for a power purchase agreement with the military and other Department of Defense installations throughout the United States and abroad.

"In our current fiscal environment, attracting third-party money to build renewable energy production facilities that will allow military installations to purchase energy at a pre-determined rate without building, owning and maintaining the facility is the right thing to do," said Col. Robert Ruch, Huntsville Center commander. "Increasing energy security is a top priority for DoD and Army leadership, and this effort will lead to enhanced energy security and sustainability for our installations."

The Corps is announcing awards by technology and will spread the announcements out throughout the rest of 2013, according to a release. The first technology was geothermal. Solar, wind and biomass are expected later in the year.

Five companies were awarded power purchase agreements for geothermal production under the MATOC. They include Constellation NewEnergy from Maryland, ECC Renewables from California, Enel Green Power North America from Massachusetts, LTC Federal from Michigan and Siemens Government Technologies from Virginia.

All of the contracts have a three-year base with seven one-year options to extend for a total of 10 years.

“Having these contracts in place will expedite the acquisition process for future projects,” according to the release from the Corps.

Congress has mandated that military installations get 25 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2025 in order to increase energy security and reduce dependence on foreign fossil fuels.

President Barack Obama announced in April 2012 that he DoD would install 3 gigawatts of renewable energy at its military installations. That’s enough to power 750,000 homes.

The DoD responded by developing this Multiple Award Task Order that will lead to the investment of $7 billion in fixed-rate power purchase agreements. Announcements for solar installations are expected later this year.