Navy to spend up to $500 million on solar in Hawaii

Navy to spend up to $500 million on solar in HawaiiThey might rename Pearl Harbor solar harbor once all the installations are in.

The Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pacific recently announced that it awarded a contract, worth potentially up to $500 million, with three companies to install solar on military installations in Hawaii.

The companies that won the awards are Island Pacific Energy LLC, Pacific Energy Solutions LLC, and Photon Finance LLC, according to the Navy.

The companies proposed projects to NAVFAC based on the request for proposals, according to Don Rochon, NAVFAC director of public affairs.

“NAVFAC Pacific furnished, as part of the solicitation package, the square footage of roof tops, carports, and ground-mount sites located on military installations in Hawaii,” he said. “Companies then proposed solar systems that they will build, own and operate on these sites. The amount of electric power produced by these systems will depend on the selected company's design.”

The Navy won’t own the solar systems, Rochon said. The systems will be owned by the project developer who will sell the power to the Navy under 30 year contracts, Rondon said.

“The government intends to purchase solar generated electric power only and not to acquire any generation assets. The [solar systems] will be financed, designed, constructed, owned, operated, maintained and repaired by the successful companies who were awarded a contract as part of this solicitation,” he said.

At this point no projects have started. Before they can get underway, the developer has to have an interconnection agreement with the utility, and the Secretary of the Navy has to sign a 30-year contract with project owner, according to Rondon.

“The duration of these tasks vary so it is difficult to predict a specific date, but the Navy hopes to issue it within 12 months,” he said.

Contractors will develop solar arrays at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield, Tripler Army Medical Center, Fort DeRussy, Asia Pacific Center for Strategic Studies, Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station, Naval Magazine West Loch, the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai and the Army Reserve Center on Maui.

Work on all projects is anticipated to be completed by August 2016, the Navy said.

Image courtesy of the U.S. Navy.