Army Plans $7 Billion in Industry Partnerships for Renewables

March 28, 2012

The U.S. Army reported on March 19 that it will partner with industry to invest up to $7 billion over the next 10 years in renewable energy sources, including wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal energy. The military department has released a draft request for proposal (RFP) that could allow multiple projects to begin nationwide. The draft RFP indicates that the Army intends to primarily purchase renewable-generated electricity through power purchase agreements with the project developers.

The investment will help the Army reach its goal of having 25% of its estimated 2.5 million megawatt hours come from renewable sources by 2025. In addition to energy conservation, installations will strive to establish alternative forms of energy that will allow them to "island" or continue to operate should the power grid fail.

The Army's Energy Initiatives Task Force (EITF) serves as the central managing office to plan and execute large-scale renewable energy projects of greater than 10 megawatts (roughly enough to power 30,000 homes) on Army installations, which will be accomplished by leveraging private-sector financing. A renewable-energy project guide will be issued for comment later in the spring.

The task force has been working closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop a request for proposal under the Multiple Award Order Contract (MATOC). The MATOC provides a two-step process. In the first step, companies submit initial proposals and qualifications that are not project-specific. The draft RFP for the MATOC is out for public comment until March 24. The EITF plans to have a summit in May to meet with industry and discuss the renewable-energy development guide as well as specific projects. See the Army news report on the initiative and the draft solicitation on the Army Acquisition Business website.